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Our society tends to put “happiness” on a pedestal—it’s everyone’s ultimate goal, and its pursuit is enshrined in our very Declaration of Independence. But what if happiness is the wrong goal? Happiness is a fleeting emotion, an endorphin rush, a chemical high. It is not enough to keep us moving forward when we get bad news, when our kids are sick, when we lose a job. Meanwhile, 40% of people worldwide say they are not happy. The reason? Happiness is simply not sustainable. It is an emotion, not a state of being. Clinical psychologist Dr. Jennifer Guttman knows firsthand just how transient happiness can be. She spent nine years fighting to receive care for her son in the face of skeptical doctors, which eventually led to extensive heart surgery. Shortly after, she battled her own life-threatening health issues and grappled with the death of her father. Yet she emerged from it all stronger. Analyzing the steps she took to persist in the face of immense challenges, she realized that happiness does not equip us with the skills required to remain hopeful and empowered through the inevitable trials of life. We need something more sustainable: satisfaction. Combining personal and professional insights gleaned over thirty years, Dr. Guttman created a motivational brand platform and accompanying YouTube series titled Sustainable Life Satisfaction, which have netted over two million views. And she’s helped thousands of her own clients struggling with anxiety and depression spring back from adversity and regain optimism. In her book BEYOND HAPPINESS: The 6 Secrets of Lifetime Satisfaction (on-sale May 30), Dr. Guttman shares the proven techniques for sustainable life satisfaction: Avoid assumptions – learn to have agency in any situation instead of acting based on what you imagine other people are thinking or feeling about you, reducing our innate negativity bias. Reduce people pleasing behaviors – don’t default to putting the needs and desires of others ahead of your own. This enables you to live an authentic life. Face your fears – learn to not let your fears prevent you from working toward and achieving your goals, resulting in more self-efficacy and self-respect. Make decisions – take action more easily by recognizing that almost every decision we settle on is, at best, just a well-informed guess, eliminating decision paralysis. Closing - Acknowledge that starting is easy, but closing is hard – following through on what we start, no matter how difficult, will lead to self-confidence, self-efficacy, and self-respect. Active Self-Reinforcement – Reward yourself for consistently executing any of the other five techniques. You will make the cognitive shift from aspiring to gain and needing praise, rewards, and reassurance from others to appreciating the profound value of giving those things to yourself by focusing on self-care. With real-life examples of patients overcoming great odds, Dr. Guttman shows how these techniques move us beyond chasing after happiness to achieving sustainable, rewarding satisfaction. The methods she describes can be practiced and mastered from the comfort of home, boosting feelings of inherent lovability, defiant resilience, patience, authenticity, and self-confidence. Dr. Guttman’s approach is not merely aimed at surviving the pitfalls of life, but flourishing along the journey. BEYOND HAPPINESS is her inspirational and straightforward guide that will renew hope and purpose.
As its title suggests, this motivational guide filled with techniques and anecdotes on ways to achieve a satisfying life starts with a provocative proposition: “I realized that happiness isn’t the ultimate goal,” writes Guttman (author of A Path to Sustainable Life Satisfaction Workbook). “It’s a great feeling but not the endgame—satisfaction is.” Guttman argues for the letting go of the ideal of living a happy life, as happiness is “a fleeting emotion, an endorphin rush, a chemical high”—an “aspiration, not a reliable result.”Instead, she makes the case for striving for something that can be sustained no matter what life throws at us, being “defiantly resilient,” which she presents as "a state beyond happiness, achieved through Sustainable Life Satisfaction.”

In Beyond Happiness, Guttman explores these insights and details six steps (including advice about avoiding assumptions, facing fears, reducing the urge to please everyone, making decisions, and more) toward self-empowerment and Sustainable Life Satisfaction, drawing on her experience as a clinical psychologist and vivid anecdotes from her life and the experiences of clients. In each chapter, Guttman presents a step in personable and engaging language, offers a thorough explanation of the implementation and importance of the technique, and shares client anecdotes so readers can see—and maybe recognize—the lesson in multiple scenarios.

Urging readers to “believe in your inherent lovability,” Guttman offers practical, empathetic guidance to help build self-confidence and to cultivate a positive mindset that actively lives for the present moment rather than in anticipation of moments to come, finding satisfaction in the good moments and staying prepared and resilient for the inevitable challenges. As the steps offer a path toward adjusting one’s mindset and self-concept and facing down negative thoughts and overthinking, Beyond Happiness provides an approachable and concise guide with professional advice, involving storytelling, and relatable examples that will resonate with readers looking to develop resilience.

Takeaway: Engaging self-help guide to developing resilience and satisfaction.

Comparable Titles: Vex King’s Good Vibes, Good Life, Catherine A. Sanderson’s The Positive Shift.

Production grades
Cover: B-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A