- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Crown Business; 1st edition (September 10, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780770436735
- ISBN-13: 978-0770436735
- ASIN: 0770436730
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 224 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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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*Starred Review* There have been many books published on happiness, an elusive goal for many of us. And there will be many more added to shelves after Achor’s second book (the first being The Happiness Advantage, 2010). Yet, truly, there was no primer on how to factually, practically achieve positive genius until this former Harvard researcher zeroed in. The concept is fairly simple: change is possible only when we link our lives to others. That positivity, in turn, results from applying five factors to change your reality: (1) choose the most valuable reality, (2) map your meaning markets, (3) find the x-spot, (4) cancel the noise, and (5) create positive inception. In layperson speak, consider these points: do something prosocial—i.e., for others—and shift your attitude. Use a treasure map, a way to chart your success path. Keep your eyes on the beach, not the rocks. Exercise—to eliminate noise and distractions from your life. And use humor everywhere. Every one of his suggestions is accompanied by personal anecdotes, others’ stories, psychological research, and just plain facts and figures. It’s an extraordinarily compelling argument to actively work on changing mindsets. --Barbara Jacobs
¶"In this remarkable book, one of the leading thinkers in the field of positive psychology digs deep into the science to find practical techniques for unleashing your genius for happiness. So forget about cheap gimmicks and gooey affirmations. Instead, listen to Shawn Achor -- and prepare to take notes!"
-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, bestselling 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."
"A must read"
-The Washington Times
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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!
There have been many recipes for happiness and success, but Achor is the first one to tell you WHY you need to harness hope and a can-do attitude first. Why it is imperative before tackling goal-setting. Next, he enlightens you with scientifically proven ingredients and step-by-step instructions how to do it. How you dive into your personal motivational reservoir. How to get your emotional mojo moving, focus your intelligence, and engage your values to get what you want in life.
Yes, this takes work. But in a cool, clear writing style, Achor's "Before Happiness" charms. It is very easy to comprehend, despite its scientific mettle. He maps out how you begin with an honest internal look/see. After you explore your psyche, you ascertain what is hindering your positivity. Then he gives you a crisp recipe for putting frosting on your life's experiential cake.
Achor teaches you how to focus your microscope until you hone in on what is blocking your journey to happiness/success reality. To explore your beliefs then employ 5 strategies (and many valuable sub-strategies) to clear your way to personal and professional success. In his constellation of brilliant success tips, the star that shines brightest to me was flexibility. You are constantly morphing. The closer you PERCEIVE success to be, the more successful you become.
I enjoyed reviewing the arena of social support, as he wrote in his previous book, "The Happiness Advantage". How one of the greatest predictors of positive genius is providing social support to OTHERS. Our own happiness and meaning absolutely need to include others. Instead of whining about your job or life, do something in service of someone else. Watch your happiness and fulfillment soar.
Achor tells it like it is. I loved his story-telling format. I could feel his gritty perseverance. His poignant self-disclosure, how he suffered depression when he was studying at Harvard, was an eye-opener. His personal anecdotes add huge value. He walks his happiness talk.
This windfall of fascinating learning is a must read. A+.