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Choosing a Good Life by Ali Berman


“I wanted to find people who had purpose, who were grateful, and who had handled conflict rationally and with kindness. People who had integrity and a desire to leave the world and all its inhabitants better than they had found it.”
—Ali Berman

What does it mean to be truly happy? Why do some people appear to be completely at peace with themselves? How do some push fear and insecurity aside to grab what they desire from life? We all know that one person who never appears bothered or stressed by anything and is absolutely happy with the person he or she is. How do some people do this? And more importantly, how can we learn to do this ourselves?

One woman was determined to find out the secret. CHOOSING A GOOD LIFE: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden; October 2014; $14.95) by Ali Berman is the journey of a woman who sought out the key to true happiness and inner peace by interviewing incredible people with diverse backgrounds who have all achieved a deep sense of balance and harmony in their lives despite unimaginable hardships.

With each person she interviewed, Ali learned something new about life and the world. Sungrai Sohn, a violin prodigy who was stricken with hepatitis B during childhood and is now a grown man on an organ donor list awaiting a liver transplant, told her, “I was at peace because I did everything I wanted to do and more. I did all the things as best I could.” Emery Jacoby, a Holocaust survivor who escaped a concentration camp, taught Ali the importance of resiliency. “To go on, you have to make an attempt to separate the future from the past . . .” he told her. Ali also learned the importance of gratitude and optimism from Daphne Yeager-Ostendorf, a woman who lost her husband and daughter. Instead of falling into a downward spiral like some people may have after such a tragedy, she did something productive by creating a documentary about her family in their honor and was appreciative for the time she had with them. These are just some of the amazing people Ali has encountered who all have found peace with the world and within themselves.

With CHOOSING A GOOD LIFE, you will have the tools and guidance to:

• Identify what you truly value

• Make use of the pain and trials of life to make you stronger

• Set priorities to find more time and energy for the things that bring you satisfaction

• Appreciate what you have with optimism for the future

• Reach for your dreams and never give up

It is possible to attain a sense of purpose, a feeling of fulfillment and a wealth of positivity. Harmony, balance and inner peace can be yours. CHOOSING THE GOOD LIFE contains the inspiring stories to help you discover the true happiness that you deserve.

Ali Berman is the senior editor for the popular, bringing attention to important social issues. She received her master of fine arts in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and has been published in numerous journals.

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation helps people reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction. It is the nation’s largest nonprofit treatment provider, with a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center. With 15 sites in California, Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Colorado, and Texas, the foundation offers prevention and recovery solutions nationwide and across the entire continuum of care for youth and adults. It includes the largest recovery publishing house in the country, a fully accredited graduate school of addiction studies, an addiction research center, an education arm for medical professionals and a unique children’s program, and is the nation’s leader in advocacy and policy for treatment and recovery.