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Our most commonly held formula for success is broken. Conventional wisdom holds that if we work hard we will be more successful, and if we are more successful, then we’ll be happy. If we can just find that great job, win that next promotion, lose those five pounds, happiness will follow. But recent discoveries in the field of positive psychology have shown that this formula is actually backward: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around. When we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive at work. This isn’t just an empty mantra. This discovery has been repeatedly borne out by rigorous research in psychology and neuroscience, management studies, and the bottom lines of organizations around the globe.
In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor, who spent over a decade living, researching, and lecturing at Harvard University, draws on his own research—including one of the largest studies of happiness and potential at Harvard and others at companies like UBS and KPMG—to fix this broken formula. Using stories and case studies from his work with thousands of Fortune 500 executives in 42 countries, Achor explains how we can reprogram our brains to become more positive in order to gain a competitive edge at work.
Isolating seven practical, actionable principles that have been tried and tested everywhere from classrooms to boardrooms, stretching from Argentina to Zimbabwe, he shows us how we can capitalize on the Happiness Advantage to improve our performance and maximize our potential. Among the principles he outlines:
• The Tetris Effect: how to retrain our brains to spot patterns of possibility, so we can see—and seize—opportunities wherever we look.
• The Zorro Circle: how to channel our efforts on small, manageable goals, to gain the leverage to gradually conquer bigger and bigger ones.
• Social Investment: how to reap the dividends of investing in one of the greatest predictors of success and happiness—our social support network
A must-read for everyone trying to excel in a world of increasing workloads, stress, and negativity, The Happiness Advantage isn’t only about how to become happier at work. It’s about how to reap the benefits of a happier and more positive mind-set to achieve the extraordinary in our work and in our lives.
- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Crown Business; 1 edition (September 14, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307591549
- ISBN-13: 978-0307591548
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
A Year Later
I saw Shawn Anchor’s presentation on PBS where he explained a simple 5 minute technique called ‘The 3 Gratitudes’.
Life Changing . . . Well Worth The Read
I very rarely take time to post reviews. I don’t, usually because I don’t have time to go into an in depth analysis to back up why I did or didn’t find a book was valuable.
Read the book, change your life.
Happiness is not a result of success, but a precursor, even a prerequisite to it. Happiness indeed begets influence, wealth, intellectual and social growth, and nearly every desirable thing in life. And—here’s the secret–happiness is achieved by small, consistent, conscious acts taught by nearly every religion and school of self-improvement: kindness, gratitude, smiling, social interaction, compliments, and (drum roll) actively looking for the positive.
Find your orange advantage!
This is probably one of the most impactful books I’ve ever read. It’s not a book that just tells you to think positive thoughts and your world changes. It’s a description of why mindset is so important in dictating your future rather than a byproduct of other outcomes. It gives you practical tactical tools to begin to develop your own happiness and additional resources to help you in your journey. Worth the time and effort to read, even if you don’t want to try out any of the ideas on your own.
this book really drives home the key points it trying to get across – empirical proof that happiness will drive success (not the
Well written and entertaining, and as far as I can tell based in reality and very keen observations of human nature – i.e., it works. Unlike a lot of sales and motivational based literature which are more an homage to the authors overinflated sense of self worth, this book really drives home the key points it trying to get across – empirical proof that happiness will drive success (not the other way around), and here’s the groundwork to do so. Perfect book to read even if you’re just looking for more satisfaction out of your every day life…its not a prerequisite that you hate your job and/or co-workers.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I had to read it for a graduate course I’m taking on administration and it really opened my eyes to some things I could do in my management role that would help me be a more effective leader. Not only that, but it helped me realize ways to increase my happiness and productivity in my personal life. I really recommend this to anyone who is looking to increase their positive perspective on work and life in general. Easy and fun to read.
A great book to get you started on the power of positive psychology
We succeed because we are happy, not that we are happy because we succeed. A positive outlook and optimism helps us be more effective, creative and impactful. Being optimistic and happy is a learnable skill. This book presents the evidence and science behind the power of positive thinking, and provides seven principles to help guide the reader to a more positive outlook.
Buy it and read it often
What is important in life? Happiness or Success? Out of the two listed above, which comes first? Happiness follows success according to primary belief. Is that true? Does success follow happiness or is it the other way around? Shawn Achor believes the latter is true. If you are happy, then you will eventually have success. How is happiness important? How can we achieve happiness? Shawn Achor uses this book to answer these questions.
You’ll be thankful you read this
I loved the TED talk and wanted fyi learn more. This book is so wonderful. Explains the importance of smiling and a positive attitude. The benefits are vast in life, business, health, and beyond. Read it, apply it, share it!
One of the best books I ever read
One of the best books I ever read. It will change your life. As an immigrant we are taught the American dream from day one. Work hard, get into a good college, get good grades, get a good job that pays well and you will be happy. It doesn’t work like that. You have to be happy first before you are successful. Success as a planet revolves around happiness the sun. Not the other way around. Book is just inspirational. This coming from a former pessimist. Lol.