The Sweet Spot

The Sweet Spot

Suffering, Pleasure and the Key to a Good Life

Summary

What if experiencing a good life involves more than just pleasure?

Revealing the surprising roots of lasting happiness, pre-eminent psychologist Paul Bloom explains why suffering is an essential source of both pleasure and meaning in our lives.

It seems obvious that pleasure leads to happiness - and pain does the opposite. And yet we are irresistibly drawn to a host of experiences that truly hurt, from the exhilarating fear of horror movies or extreme sport to the gruelling challenges of exercise, work, creativity and having a family.

Drawing on ground-breaking findings, pre-eminent psychologist Paul Bloom explores the pleasures of suffering and reveals why the activities that provide the most satisfaction are often the ones that involve the greatest sacrifice. Embracing this truth, he shows, is the key to a life well lived.

'Paul Bloom can always be counted on to take your confident assumptions about humanity and turn them upside down' Susan Cain, author of Quiet

'An exhilarating antidote to toxic positivity, this captivating book will challenge you to rethink your vision of a good life' Adam Grant, author of Think Again

Reviews

  • An exhilarating antidote to toxic positivity, this captivating book will challenge you to rethink your vision of a good life
    Adam Grant, author of Think Again

About the author

Paul Bloom

Paul Bloom is Professor of Psychology at University of Toronto and the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Yale University. His research explores the psychology of morality, identity and pleasure. Bloom is the recipient of multiple awards and honours, including most recently the million-dollar Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize. He has written for scientific journals such as Nature and Science, and for the New York Times, New Yorker, Atlantic and Guardian. He is the author or editor of eight books, including Just Babies, How Pleasure Works, Descartes' Baby, Against Empathy and most recently The Sweet Spot.
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