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Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change Hardcover – September 10, 2013
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-- Daniel H. Pink, author of DRIVE, TO SELL IS HUMAN, and A WHOLE NEW MIND
“Shawn Achor, one of our greatest positive psychologists for the workplace, has done it again. With his characteristic blend of academic rigor and twinkle in the eye, Achor will change your view of happiness, of reality -- and of yourself.”
--Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author of QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Before Happiness is the book that positive psychology fans have been waiting to read. Shawn Achor, the leading light in bringing the science of happiness to work, offers his signature blend of eye-opening research insights, entertaining stories, and infectious enthusiasm. This fresh, uplifting book is filled with ideas for improving our organizations and our lives.
-Adam Grant, Wharton professor and bestselling author of Give and Take
"Shawn Achor is a positive genius who is capable of taking complex academic research and making it come to life in companies and schools across the globe."
-Tony Hsieh, bestselling author of Delivering Happiness and CEO of Zappos.com, Inc.
In Before Happiness, Shawn Achor provides simple, scientifically sound strategies built around three key factors most of us undervalue: where we choose to put our attention, how much social support we build into our lives, and whether we view stress as a challenge rather than a threat.
--Tony Schwartz, best-selling author of The Power of Full Engagement and Be Excellent at Anything
“Read this book before you buy any other self-improvement title. For anyone who wants to find more meaning, achievement, and joy in life, this is the single best place to start."
-Tom Rath, Bestselling author of StrengthsFinder 2.0 and Eat Move Sleep
"Achor infuses Before Happiness with empirical evidence, anecdotes and studies showing that even a simple adjustment in thinking impacts our outlook and how we’re perceived. ...The book offers insights and ideas for adjusting your angle of vision so you open the door to happiness and success." -Success Magazine
-"A must read" - The Washington Times
More About the Author
In 2007, Shawn founded Good Think to share his research with the world. Subsequently, Shawn has lectured or researched in 49 countries, speaking to CEOs in China, school children in South Africa, doctors in Dubai, and farmers in Zimbabwe. He has spoken to the Royal Family in Abu Dhabi, doctors at St. Jude Children's Hospital, and worked with the U.S. Department of Health to promote happiness.
Shawn graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and earned a Masters degree from Harvard Divinity School in Christian and Buddhist ethics. For seven years, Shawn also served as an Officer of Harvard, living in Harvard Yard and counseling students through the stresses of their first year. Though he now travels extensively for his work, Shawn continues to conduct original psychology research on happiness and organizational achievement in collaboration with Yale University and the Institute for Applied Positive Research.
Top Customer Reviews
Shawn Achor, the author of Before Happiness, is a highly acclaimed positive psychologist. He is also the author of a previous book - The Happiness Advantage. His passion is the study of happiness - discovering what really leads to happiness and also discovering those things that block our way.
In Before Happiness, he gives us 5 key methods to better understand how we can create more happiness in our own lives and the lives of those around us.
The first key is to understand that we create our own reality by what we focus on. We can choose to focus on the negative things in life or we can choose to take a more positive approach. He is not advocating irrational optimism - which he says is delusional. "Your reality is a choice; what you choose to focus on shapes how you perceive and interpret your world."
The second key is the meaning we assign to things in life - Mr. Achor calls them meaning markers. You will learn how to set better goals based on what is meaningful to you and your life.
The third key is what he calls the X-Spot. This concept is best illustrated by the kick a marathon runner gets when they see the finish line in sight. They get a burst of energy to finish the race.Read more ›
Before Happiness takes a different approach. It lays out and recommends a more structured plan to follow that looks a lot like other success formulas - understanding your values, setting goals, and then using various techniques to reach them. This is a much broader and bigger picture approach designed to shape your life around the things that really matter. While this approach has value it's much harder to implement for many people (including myself).
The books approach the subject very differently, and some people are more likely to get more out of the first book. So don't be fooled by the title - read the earlier book and decide for yourself!
I really enjoyed this book. Here's why:
* Shawn's practical advice and exercises on how to think about your happiness. Sure, I've read lots of self-improvement books, but this was one of the few where the exercises really resonated with me. He breaks it down into 5 steps or skills:
1. Choosing the Most Valuable Reality
2. Mapping Your Success Route
3. Finding Success Accelerants
4. Eliminating Negative Noise
5. Transferring Your Positive Reality to Others.
* Shawn makes the concepts reality by his concrete examples. For example, I love the idea of mapping your life, e.g. your current workplace or city. It forces you to really think about your environment and what is important to you.
* The nice mixture of research showing happiness factors and Shawn's personal stories. It makes Shawn appear very sincere. He obviously believes in this stuff.
* The down to earth style. It's as though Shawn is sitting down and having a conversation with you about happiness.
* It inspired me to dig deeper. Of course, I'm going to read Shawn's first book, "The Happiness Advantage." I'm also going to read the other books he suggests. I just love it when one book leads me to a lot of others on the same topic.
I'm glad that I read this book before his first book, "The Happiness Advantage," since this book gives a good framework for finding your true happiness.
I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to lead a more fulfilling life.
This book provides the missing link and removes the mystery. It gives concrete steps to changing the mindset that makes happiness possible. It has expanded my way of thinking and made me more effective in work and in life. It's a great resource for everyone. Highly recommended!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Inspiring book - filled with ideas to help you help yourself achieve a specific goal or global life happiness.Published 14 days ago by LSM
I'm a big fan of Shawn Achor and his real world, down to earth strategies for making the most out of life. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Dr. Von
This is the follow-up book to Shawn Achor's book "The Happiness Advantage". Shawn is the Steve Covey of the Positive Psychology movement. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Christine L. Wodke
This is a very good book for people looking for solid firm positive direction in their life. The author explains in clear plain language the in ins and outs of what it means to be... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Emisael Deleon
helped me with lots of great pointers to get through my depression...Published 3 months ago by Angie L.
I had high expectations for the book, given the TED talk he gave. THe ideas are basically the same with lame advice on how to leverage. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Riad Assir
Excellent read. I keep to close to refer to too. Completely worthwhile.Published 5 months ago by redwillow