Toolkit for life

Warren Buffet fans, take note: The Art of the Good Life will help you navigate a complex world, writes Kirsten Levermore

If you haven’t read the first book in this series, The Art of Thinking Clearly, you are missing out on your most productive, fully realized life. A research-driven guide to the “pitfalls” of having a human brain, this book astounds the reader with a series of lessons in how to be more than a victim of your human instincts. It’s a stellar read. So, bubbling excitement on seeing the brand new sequel, The Art of the Good Life, is not uncalled for. However, this is not The Art of Thinking Clearly Vol II. As one clever Amazon reviewer put it: if the first book explained “how to think”, The Art of the Good Life explains “how to live”.

In 52 short chapters, Swiss philosopher and entrepreneur Rolf Dobelli aims to equip the reader with the tools to better understand the world around them, thus leading to an easier, happier life.

Like the previous book, every “tool” is cleverly and clearly illustrated with metaphor and anecdote, and content is well-researched in parts, and quite speculative in others.

Indeed, The Art of the Good Life reads as a highly personal explanation of Dobelli’s own ‘rules to live by’. That is not to say it does not contain some universal gems: with decision-making, the tyranny of having a calling, and the prison of a good reputation, this book contains some striking and relatable philosophies that will likely impact your life in at least one small way. The book’s true value, however, is probably only attainable by its specific audience: acolytes of Warren Buffet, executives on the move, and anyone with an investment portfolio.

Nevertheless, The Art of the Good Life is a curious venture into economic philosophy and a very good starting point for discussing what leads to a “good life” – and actionable suggestions for attaining it.

–– Kirsten Levermore reviews The Art of the Good Life, Rolf Dobelli (Sceptre)