Book By: Vance Caesar and Carol Ann Caesar
Review By: Sybil L. Holloway
Center for Counseling and Human Development
Bloomsburg University

Empowering and practical, The High Achiever’s Guide to Happiness is for anyone who could benefit from a life coach. Here the authors provide a framework for taking stock of life and realizing dreams. They present a wealth of information and experience conveyed in easy-to-understand terms. The target audience is “…high achievers and those on the path to high achieving who are, or want to be, leading themselves and others” (p. xiii). 

Caesar and Caesar aim to help individuals add happiness and fulfillment to their lives. They note that “Our research and experience with clients who are high achievers and leaders has brought to light the significant numbers of Americans who are achieving and getting the things they think will make them happy, only to realize that these things all too often result in emptiness and disappointment. We have discovered that only about 10 percent report some degree of happiness” (p. xv). 

The Happy High Achievers’ Life Model presented was developed by the authors.  Its components include (1) Discovering and articulating your life Purpose; (2) Possessing a Vision to set your direction; (3) Attitudes and beliefs for finding Meaningful Work; (4) Developing Energizing Relationships; (5) Creating Peace in your life; (6) Reviewing, Renewing, and Recommitting to your purpose; and (7) Forming the habits of Discipline (p. 22 and back cover).  Each of these elements is explained in detail in separate chapters.

Relevant quotes, personal examples, and exercises for engaging the reader are offered throughout the book. This guide is meant to be used as a workbook so the authors have provided plenty of space for answers, reflections, questions, and other planning notations.  The reader is invited to be an active participant in changing his or her life.  I found this approach to be both educational and effective.  Build Your Own Road (Wolfe-Morgan, 1990) is a similar personal and professional growth book about goal definition and attainment that also presents valuable information in a reader-friendly fashion but without the workbook format.

While The High Achiever’s Guide to Happiness is not specific to advisors a wide range of professionals – including advisors – can benefit from its content.  If advisors apply the information in this book to their own lives then they can achieve greater satisfaction and happiness in their work and serve as better role models for their students.  For this reason, I recommend this book as a supplemental resource.


Wolfe-Morgan, L. (1990).  Build your own road:  How to define your goals…and design a path to reach them.  New York:  Berkley Books.

The High Achiever’s Guide to Happiness. (2006). Book By: Vance Caesar and Carol Ann Caesar.  Review By: Sybil L. Holloway. Thousand Oaks, CA:  Corwin Press.  168 pp.  $27.95 ISBN # 1-4129-1613-5.  
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