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Tal Ben-Shahar      

Best-Selling Author and Positive Psychology Expert

Tal Ben-Shahar chooses the life he wants:

He chose to pursue his passion.

He was supposed to become a computer scientist (his college major, initially). But he was unhappy academically, even though he was doing well, so he switched to something he felt passionate about—philosophy and psychology. This choice started him on a new and exciting path that led him to earning a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Organizational Behavior from Harvard.

He chose to teach.

Within psychology, Ben-Shahar chose to specialize in Positive Psychology, the science of happiness, and then taught a class at Harvard on the topic. Close to 900 Harvard students chose to take his class, making it the biggest class in Harvard. He then chose to teach another class, The Psychology of Leadership, which was also hugely successful.

He chose to teach some more.

Ben-Shahar consults and lectures around the world to executives of multi-national corporations, at-risk populations and the general public. His topics of choice, many of which he teaches as part of his role as the chief learning officer of the Wholebeing Institute, include leadership, ethics, happiness, self-esteem, resilience, goal setting and mindfulness.

He chose to write books.

Ben-Shahar chose to write books on the topics he is passionate about in order to bring the important ideas of Positive Psychology to a wider audience. His most recent book is Choose the Life You Want: The Mindful Way to Happiness. He is also the author of The New York Times best seller Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment and of Being Happy: You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Lead a Richer, Happier Life.

He chose to pursue his love of sports.

An avid sportsman, Ben-Shahar would have liked to be a basketball player. But because of his height (which he did not choose), he dedicates his energy to other sports. As a student he played squash competitively, winning numerous tournaments, including the U.S. Intercollegiate and the Israeli National squash championships.

He chose to commit.

Ben-Shahar met a wonderful woman called Tami, and they chose to get married and raise a family. They have three children. Together, they look forward to each new day and the multitude of choices to be made.

Speech Topics


Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness

Positive Psychology, "the scientific study of optimal human functioning," provides practical tools for better living. This new subfield within psychology is unique in that it creates a bridge between the Ivory Tower and Main Street -- making rigorous academic ideas easily accessible. In this session, Ben-Shahar discusses current research related to the science of happiness and introduces ideas and tools that can actually make you happier. He covers topics including giving ourselves the permission to be human, simplifying our lives, recognizing the mind-body connection, and re-focusing on the positive.

Positive Leadership: Strategies for Success

Most organizational and individual potential is untapped. Talented individuals are attracted to and thrive in organizations that bring out the best in them. Ben-Shahar discusses how leaders can create a positive environment that nurtures their inherent potential, as well as the potential in those with whom they work. Ben-Shahar presents research and practices from the world of Appreciative Inquiry, and the Strengths-based Approach to Leadership and Organizational Development and illustrates how to blend them into an approach that underpins extraordinary rather than ordinary outcomes, and enables people to reach fulfillment, happiness, wellbeing, and success.

Positive Psychology for Difficult Times

The economic crises, the ongoing market pressures, the globalization of our village, make the task of the leader increasingly difficult. The effective leader is able to be tough and demanding while being respectful, to trust employees while taking responsibility for the outcome, to focus on strengths while learning to manage weaknesses, juggling the day-to-day challenges while keeping an eye on the vision. To be successful in this taxing environment, the leader must be resilientto face the challenges and bounce back from setbacks.

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