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The 100 Simple Secrets of the Best Half of Life: What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It    by David Niven order for
100 Simple Secrets of the Best Half of Life
by David Niven
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2005 (2005)
Softcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

David Niven is a psychologist, social scientist and author of The 100 Simple Secrets series. After researching 'habits and practices that contribute to a satisfying life', he offers a hundred vignettes on the topic, each including a research conclusion, an example, and related expert advice.

He begins with 'Happiness is Not an Accident', but something that can be worked on and improved, and ends with 'Do It Now' - actions matter. The hundred topics include: the importance of feeling self worth, the need to plan ahead and work towards goals, being open to change and beauty, having fun, maintaining an active lifestyle with self expression, avoiding second-guessing decisions, aiming for extroversion, and embracing challenges. Niven advises us to 'see the forest and the trees' in nature, volunteer and mentor, vote, forgive others to reduce our own stress, laugh a lot, exercise, and use a computer.

I especially like 'Don't Let Irritation Be Louder Than Joy', 'See a Kid, Be a Kid Again', 'Pay Attention to Your Dreams', and 'Never Stop Learning'. The 100 Simple Secrets of the Best Half of Life is one of those little books that can be kept at the bedside and dipped into on a regular basis, and it makes a reassuring gift for someone anxious about aging.

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