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.
©2010 Shawn Achor (P)2010 Random House Audio
"Shawn Achor is funny, self-deprecating, and devastating to my notions of what his field is all about…. I'm butter to his knife." (The Boston Globe)
"Achor bases his training on a burgeoning body of research on the positive psychology movement, which emphasizes instilling resiliency and positive attitudes." (The Wall Street Journal)
Shawn Achor provides an overview of positive psychology and offers seven principles of positive psychology which contribute to individual success and personal performance. Over the years, many have sought to promote positive thinking. Prominent among them is Norman Vincent Peale for example. However, scientific research of late has begun to support the views of positive thinking and the benefits that can be derived from nurturing such a point of view. In this book, Shawn Achor aptly presents to the layperson findings in the related field of positive psychology. This is definitely informative . Achor offers strategies that the listener can implement immediately. The section on the “Tetris Effect” was the most helpful to me. It helped me understand where habits come from and how we can get “stuck” in particular ways of doing things and harbor attitudes unconsciously. The book is well written, easy follow, entertaining and informative. It is readily available to the uninitiated as well. The author reads his own work and does an admirable job of it as well.
I found this book entertaining and reassuring. That happy people are more successful isn???t surprising to me, but the fact that we can all be happier than we are is extremely encouraging! Before this book was over, I was already using the information in my own life and had I feel amazingly good. A great combo of research and tools for success.
For me the book is a long winded pitch for the DVD and/or consulting.
It's a solid premise and yes its based on the latest research but it doesn't offer the concrete "how to" I would have liked. I had watched the TED talk and loved it, purchased the book and didn't really feel any better equipped on how to put it all into practice. Cue a lucrative consulting arrangement or DVD sale for Shawn.
I really liked listening to this book. However, it???s not a ???read this and be happy book??? ??? you have to want to learn the basics of happiness and you have to want to change your outlook. A pessimist might find this book to be a turn off. The author narrates the book and does a great job. The preview teaser that you listen to on audible.com doesn???t do the book justice. This is the first audible book that I found myself breezing through so quickly that I thought I must have accidentally fast forwarded. If you know that happiness can truly make you successful, you should really listen to this book.
This is one of the best books I have read for self development! I love the fact that the author backed up his ideas with specific examples. Another great aspect of this book was that some of the case studies were actually his own; many authors rely on other people's data collecting and rehash those results without having the information first-hand. His message was very upbeat, keeping his attitude in line with the title of his book. After finishing this book I can honestly say I feel more enlightened. With some books I merely hope for a few nuggets of good information; this one had a value pack of it. I look forward to reading more books by Shawn Achor.
As a lead generation company, innovation and creativity are crucial for us to stay ahead of the curve. Its no surprise that this book dives into a few things we naturally do, because we happen to be positive people. Even more importantly, is how this book can be a tool to increase happiness (by applying some changes in ones life), how we can inject happiness more frequently to jump start creativity and innovation in the workplace, and this book has already helped define a few of the things we never articulated but truly look for in a good partnership or hire. This was a great read/listen, with studies, scientific, etc... and if it were up to me, not only should managers and owners read this book...but high school freshman and sophomores as they begin to start wandering down career and college paths. It begs the question, do you want to get into a certain school, or do you want to be happy in life? This book has the ability to plant some major seeds to help prevent negative tracks in life that are hard to u-turn out of...2 thumbs up!
The Happiness Advantage
Happiness leads to greater success, not success makes us happy.
Because top achievers like you are always changing and adjusting your goals, we create what Dan Sullivan calls “The Gap.” The GAP is similar to the horizon….you can keep driving forever, but you never get there. When we get to our “success,” we change what success looks like. As a result, most people don’t experience the true feeling of success; and if we have to be “successful” to be happy, we never get there.
Our brains work in the opposite order. If you can raise the brain’s level of positivity or happiness in the present, then success rates rise. There is a new study in what’s called “Positive Psychology,” and it consists of studying why positive people consistently outperform the norm. So what causes people to be more optimistic?
Meditating for 5 to 15 minutes a day will increase your happiness dramatically, just concentrate on your breathing in and out. Breathe in through your nose and off through your mouth. The in breathe should be shorter than the out breathe
When our brains always look for the positives in everything the better you will feel, the more you concentrate on the negatives the more negatives you get.
Just thinking about your favorite movie or happiest time in your life raises your endorphins.
Our belief in another person life can bring that belief to life. We believe we can do more or when other believes that is when we usually do more.
1. Gratitude: Our brain is similar to a single processor for experiencing the world. If we are processing all the negatives (stress, bad relationships, world news), then our brain doesn’t have the resources to create a better future. Focus on the good stuff!
2. Social Support Level: This is the people you choose to have around you. Do the people around you support you with positivity? Research says that only 25% of success is predicted by intelligence and technical skills and 75% is predicted by social support!
3. Seeing Problems or Stress as Opportunities. People who see potentially negative situations as opportunities or a challenge have more optimism than those who see the same situations as negative. Optimism creates positive results.
4. Belief: Having the belief or faith that everything always works out like it’s supposed to provide optimism to everyday circumstances and situations.
Just a theory - really?
I do not deny that most of the claims made by this book are likely true. But the claims are repetitive both from other self-help books and within this single volume. Additionally, the claims are very basic - being optimistic will make you more successful, see the world not through rose colored glasses, but rather through rose *tinted* glasses. Many studies are fundamentally explained and many stories are told, but there is no depth in any of them.
If this is your first "self-help" book, then it might help you quite a bit, but if you have read anything on brain behavior, motivation, or psychology, I doubt you will get much from this book. I also feel that there is a fair amount of self-aggrandizement as he refers to his many talks given to Fortune 500 companies. It is interesting that he mentions that some people in his audience have asked, "Isn't this all a waste of time?" The author's response is that that person missed the point. Perhaps I did too, but I don't believe I did.
This is one of my favorite books I've ever listened to from audible. It has great science, interesting studies, AND practical suggestions for applying it to real life. I've already recommended this book to many people and listened to it three times. I am seriously happier after applying just a few of its most simple suggestions. Love it! Thanks Shawn!
This book puts compelling data behind many of the tools taught in Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People", focusing on Positivity.
Report Inappropriate Content