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Why go through all the trouble of working hard and being successful if it won't make you a happier person? That is the question noted author and leadership expert David Fischman asks of readers in his new book "The Secret of the Seven Seeds" (Jossey-Bass, $22.95).

First published in Latin America, this engaging book tells of the successful entrepreneur and writer's personal struggle for happiness in his out-of-control life.

In it, Fischman reveals his personal story through the fictional character Ignacio Rodriguez, who, like many businesspeople from New York to New Delhi, is desperately trying to keep up with the speed of life.

The 40-something stressed-out entrepreneur is utterly overwhelmed, at risk for a heart attack, losing money at his business and has no time or energy for his family. His doctor recommends that he try meditation to regain balance in his demanding life.

A Spiritual Guide

Instead, Ignacio's journey leads him to a spiritual guide, who helps him heal by finding his path in the secret of the seven seeds, which represent self-knowledge, meditation, egolessness, service to others, goodness, balance and freedom.

"'The Secret of the Seven Seeds' begs the question: Why go through all the trouble of working hard and being successful if it won't make you a happier person?" said Fischman about writing a book mostly based on his life. "The old cliché says that money can't buy you love, but research is proving that it can't buy you happiness either." Being happy, he asserts, should be one of our primary goals in life and this book will take readers on a path to get there through seven simple steps. True happiness comes from learning to be, getting in contact with your inner self, helping others and living a balanced life. Ignacio was caught in the classic ego trap, but gradually becomes liberated and ultimately sated.

How To Define Happiness

The book redefines success, proposing that it is measured in happiness and not in assets. "I am certain," he states, "that when a person takes their last breath he/she will never repent how many cars they did not buy. They probably will regret not having been close enough to their family or not having helped other people."

But far from suggesting quick-fix prescriptions, this book, based on ancient Oriental wisdom and written as an easy-to-read novel, uses ancestral stories, anecdotes, analogies and humor. It is now available in bookstores.

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