For one thing, the book devotes 112 pages to the authors' main ideas, while 114 pages are packed with technical information, notes, references and hard data. There's also the gimmicky aspect of a linked online feature, complete with a packet insert that contains a password to a Gallup testing website.
The Gallup connection is no surprise, as both authors work for the global polling company. Tom Rath is the author of best-selling
Despite the mass market appeal, this book features some very insightful counter-intuitive ideas, such as in the areas of money management and the "irrational man" model of behavioural economics. At the heart of the book is the concept of well-being, which the authors define as "the combination of our love for what we do each day, the quality of our relationships, the security of our finances, the vibrancy of our physical health and the pride we take in what we have contributed to our communities".
The authors then go into a detailed examination of these concepts. Career well-being is how you occupy your time or simply liking what you do every day. Social well-being involves having strong ties and love in your life. Financial well-being is about effectively managing your economic life. Physical well-being is having good health and enough energy to get things done on a daily basis, while community well-being is that sense of engagement you have with your neighbourhood.
The authors believe that "an intense focus on one area can actually be detrimental to your overall well-being".
In other words, these concepts are interconnected, symbiotic and mutually reinforcing. "Most importantly, it's about how these f