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The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work Hardcover – September 14, 2010
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-Rom Brafman, bestselling co-author of Sway and Click
"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…."
-Wall Street Journal
About the Author
Shawn Achor is the winner of over a dozen distinguished teaching awards at Harvard University, where he delivered lectures on positive psychology in the most popular class at Harvard. Shawn has become one of the world's leading expert on the connection between happiness and success. His research on happiness made the cover of Harvard Business Review, his TED talk is one of the most popular all time with over 4 million views, and his lecture airing on PBS has been seen by millions. Shawn teaches for the Advanced Management Program at Wharton Business School, and collaborates on research with Yale and Columbia University.
In 2007, Shawn founded Good Think to share his research with the world. Subsequently, Shawn has lectured or researched in 51 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. In 2012, Shawn helped lead the Everyday Matters campaign with the National MS Society and Genzyme to show how happiness remains a choice for those struggling with a chronic illness.
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 explains the latest research he and his colleagues in the field of positive psychology have conducted. The results are fascinating:
1) Our brains work better when they are "happy."
2) There are concrete things we can do to make our brains "happier."
3) We can also overcome our inclination to procrastinate and put off these exercises. (I found this section to be particularly interesting since I am a procrastinator).
4) When our brains are at "happy" that positivity will ripple out to others and can raise the productivity.
Give this book a look. The research shows that we (and our colleagues at work) can be more productive. And, if we are "happier" our boss will also perceive us as more positive, trustworthy, sincere and successful. Wow! And who wouldn't want to be happier at work - and at home?
To be sure, much of the info in this book will be standard fare for anyone who's familiar with the life coaching industry. However, it's packaged in a way that appeals even to left-brained skeptics like me. The author cites research studies to back up each point. Some of the suggestions were totally new to me, and I thought I was deeply familiar with the field.
Just a few highlights that I enjoyed:
p.55 - Work with a signature strength. This recommendation makes lots of sense to me. The book includes a link to a long online survey; I took the survey and found it surprisingly accurate. I'm a little baffled by the authors suggestion to "use it in a new way each day for a week."
p. 67: I loved the discussion of Ellen Langer's research with "senior" men. Langer asked them to imagine themselves as they'd been 20 years earlier. They improved on physical as well as mental measures.
pp 72-73 - Great discussion of leisure. I really resonated to the notion that we tend to think any non-work activity is worthless. This belief becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
p. 121 - A startling experiment asks people to estimate how "fortunate" they would be if they were wounded in a bank robbery. Great comment about interpretations of Wall Streeters!
p. 139 - Solving small problems can lead to big wins.
p. 163: Add 20 seconds to your day and gain several hours.
Highly recommended. I'm glad I got this book to keep instead of borrowing from the library. I want to read it a few more times.
First, Achor introduces seven principles that serve as the foundation of what he characterizes as "the happiness advantage": positive brains have a significant biological advantage over brains that are neutral and an even more substantial biological advantage over brains that are negative. In fact, The Happiness Advantage" also serves as the first principle, followed by
2. The Fulcrum and the Lever: How a positive mindset (fulcrum) can leverage power to achieve success (however defined)
3. The Tetris Effect: How that same positive mindset can recognize can recognize patterns of possibility that leads to possibilities that would otherwise be missed
4. Falling Up: When experiencing a major crisis or encountering a major threat, how selecting the right mental "path" will reveal the best course of action to take
5. The Zorro Circle: When coping with crisis or threat, how to control emotions "by focusing first on small, manageable goals, and then gradually expanding our circle to achieve progressively bigger ones"
6.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great insight into what makes people happy. Isn't that what we all ultimately strive for?Published 5 days ago by Tsmiley
This is one of the best books I have read. There are so many takeaways that I want to implement and the tools to do so. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Alexis V.
I love this book so much that I actually ordered a hard copy in addition to the copy I have on my Kindle. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Mystufff
I loved this book so much! It completely validated some ideas I have had about how to create a workplace that flows and creates meaning. Read morePublished 18 days ago by morgan leach
I've been criticized to death at work for being negative, and this book is amazing! It's not one of those books that promises if you just smile and look at the sunny side of life,... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Amazon Customer