Build the Life You Want: A Book Review

Feeling unfulfilled? In "Build the Life You Want," Oprah & Arthur Brooks guide you to define YOUR happiness, not society's. Learn practical steps to build a meaningful life through research, personal stories, and actionable advice. Discover how to overcome challenges, cultivate strong relationships, and achieve lasting joy.

Isabella Ramirez

2/29/20244 min read

Have you ever wondered what makes people happy? How can you improve your own happiness and well-being? If you are looking for some answers, you might want to check out the new book by Oprah Winfrey and Arthur C. Brooks, titled "Build the Life You Want". In this blog post, I will share with you some of the insights and stories from this inspiring book, and how they can help you live a better and happier life.

Who are the authors?

"Build the Life You Want" is a result of the collaboration of two people who, in different ways, pursued the same mission over the years - to help other people become happier. These two are Oprah Winfrey, a famous talk show host, and Arthur C. Brooks, a Harvard University professor who studies the science of happiness. They met in 2019, when Oprah invited Brooks to her show, and they discovered that they had a lot in common. They decided to write a book together, combining their personal experiences and scientific research, to offer practical advice and guidance on how to achieve happiness.

What is the book about?

The book is divided into four parts, each focusing on a different aspect of happiness: mind, heart, soul, and relationships. In each part, the authors explain how our mind and brain work, how we can manage our emotions, how we can find meaning and purpose in life, and how we can build healthy and fulfilling relationships with others. They also share stories from their own lives and from people they have met or interviewed, who have overcome challenges and found happiness in different ways. One of these stories is about Albina Quevedo, a 93-year-old woman from Barcelona, who learned the secret to getting happier as she grew older.

How did Albina Quevedo become happier?

As she lay in her bed in a small Barcelona apartment, 93-years-old Albina Quevedo recounted the trials of her life. She thought about her youth when she went to parties, enjoyable days at the beach with people long gone, the times when she got married, and the births of all three children. Generally, when people recall the times when they were younger, they conclude they were much happier. However, that wasn’t the case with Albina, whose conclusion was that she only became happier as she grew older. “I know it sounds strange because my life now seems bleak, but it’s true,” she said with a smile. “As I’ve aged, I have learned the secret to getting happier.”

Albina was a little girl when the brutal Spanish War broke out. She spent it often hungry, in hiding, and with the pictures of suffering and dead bodies around her. After the war, her life didn’t improve as her father went to prison for being in service on the losing side of that conflict. However, it turned out that it was when she started her own family that the real troubles began. Several years into marriage, her husband left, and she had to bring up the children alone. She drowned in poverty and struggles of raising her family without help for years, wondering every day when the unhappiness would stop and the new brighter life would begin.

One day, her outlook on life changed. She realized that happiness was not something that would come to her someday in the future, but something that she could create for herself in the present. She decided to focus on what she had instead of what she lacked: her children, her friends, her faith, her hobbies. She learned to appreciate the small joys of life: a sunny day, a good meal, a kind word. She also learned to forgive herself and others for their mistakes and flaws. She stopped comparing herself to others or worrying about what they thought of her. She accepted herself as she was and loved herself unconditionally.

As a result of these changes in her attitude and behavior, Albina became happier and more peaceful. She also became more resilient and optimistic. She faced many difficulties in her later years: health problems, loneliness, losses of loved ones.

But she never gave up on her happiness. She always found something to be grateful for, something to look forward to, something to laugh about.

She said that happiness was not a destination, but a journey. And she enjoyed every moment of it.

What can we learn from Albina's story?

Albina's story is one of many examples that illustrate the main message of "Build the Life You Want": happiness is not something that happens to us, but something that we make happen.

It is not dependent on external factors, but on internal ones.

It is not a fixed state, but a dynamic process.

It is not a gift, but a skill.

The authors of the book provide us with many tools and tips on how to develop this skill and practice it every day.

They teach us how to train our mind to be more positive and mindful, how to cultivate our heart to be more compassionate and generous, how to nourish our soul to be more authentic and meaningful, and how to strengthen our relationships to be more supportive and loving.

They also remind us that happiness is not a selfish or superficial goal, but a noble and profound one. It is not only good for us, but also for others. It is not only a personal achievement, but also a social responsibility. It is not only a way of living, but also a way of giving.

Why should you read this book?

If you are looking for a book that can inspire you, inform you, and transform you, then "Build the Life You Want" is the book for you. It is not just a book, but a companion, a coach, and a friend. It will challenge you, comfort you, and cheer you. It will make you think, feel, and act. It will make you happier.

So, grab your copy of "Build the Life You Want" today and start building the life you want tomorrow!