Robert Wicks is a professor of psychology at Loyola University in Maryland. He is the author of more than 40 books including Riding the Dragon and Crossing the Desert. In this enlightened work, Wicks challenges us to dust off and take to heart some basic principles and practices such as simplicity, gratitude, and compassion. Putting these qualities into our days and doings leads to contentment.

Wicks offers examples from his own life and those of others that can open the door to a keen sense of appreciation for who we are and what we have. Some of these include determining what is truly essential; letting fragility "soften your soul," appreciating all the bounties and blessings of your life, reaping the harvest of a renewing community, making the most of silence and solitude, taming your negativities and swift critical judgments, and seeing the positive sides of failure. The last section of the book contains 30 reflections and practices on the quest to achieve contentment. Wicks, as always, is a keen analyst of human nature and a deeply sensitive explorer of self-inquiry.