We are in the midst of a happiness revolution, says Marci Shimoff. Every best-selling book and talk show teaches us about some aspect of creating a happier life, whether through better health, the perfect body, the perfect relationship, stronger finances, a more fulfilling career, better politicians, a greenerplanet or even feng shui-ing our home.

We all want to discover the key to attaining deep and lasting happiness; yet for many of us, it remains elusive. With depression plaguing one out of four Americans, we have clearly gone off course in our search for happiness—the holy grail of human existence, the goal of all goals.

You may remember Marci Shimoff from The Secret or as best-selling coauthor of the Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul series. Shimoff has been on a personal quest for happiness for the past thirty-five years. With Carol Kline, in her most recent book she reveals her ground-breaking discovery: our experience of happiness is a direct result of our happiness set point, the 50 percent genetic and 50 percent learned tendencies we have to remain at a certain level of happiness throughout our lives.

The good news is, just as we can raise the thermostat in our home, we can raise our happiness set point, given the right tools. Happy for No Reason takes the reader through a holistic seven-step program designed to do just that. In each step, Shimoff combines scientific research in the fields of behavioral psychology and neuroscience with practical techniques from many disciplines, such as meditation, martial arts, hypnosis and yoga. The teachings come interspersed with Chicken Soup–style stories gleaned from her interviews with one hundred unconditionally happy people, a group she calls her “Happy 100.”

Shimoff demonstrates happiness habits we can learn to incorporate into our lives regardless of where we start, including:

Shimoff wants to help us experience happiness as a constant backdrop for everything else in life. It is a state of peace and well-being independent of external circumstances, such as relationships, career or even success. Most importantly, it is a state that is available to all of us.

Don’t let the simplicity of this title fool you. Happy for No Reason holds some radical keys for transformation by revealing a truth that in our consumption- and achievement-oriented lifestyles often eludes us: we don’t have to manipulate the world around us to achieve happiness. Instead, all we need to do is learn to crank up our happiness thermostat. And that’s a skill we can all develop.

Hardcover, 320 pages, $24.95; Free Press, 2008