The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work

The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work

3.9 35
by Shawn Achor
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Achor transports us to his virtual classroom, a journey along which we glean the seven secrets of happiness. The Happiness Advantage reveals the most important discoveries coming out of modern psychology.”
-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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307591548
Publisher:
Crown Religion/Business/Forum
Publication date:
09/14/2010
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
13,380
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.10(d)

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Meet 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.

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The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
EnergyCoach More than 1 year ago
We all like being happy, but most of us don't realize how much we actually need to be happy. It's easy to continue to move ourselves down to the bottom of the priority list in order to take care of all the other things that matter in our lives. And yet as we continue to push our own health and happiness to the side, our performance, not to mention our sanity, often becomes an afterthought. The Happiness Advantage builds a solid case that how we take care of ourselves significantly impacts our business. It is clearly the responsibility of anyone who wants to perform at high levels to pay attention to the benefits that come to them when they not only chose to be happy, but they make "happiness a work ethic". Thank you Shawn for bringing this information to us in a way that is easy to understand and apply to our daily routine. This is truly a fun, informative and life inspiring message.
c_dubb23 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was easy to follow and it made alot of sense. It was helped my looking at everything at a new outlook. High recommended!
DrakeBullet More than 1 year ago
It has feel-good psychology, but also good practices to follow. It has helped me reshape my outlook and expectations. For example, I have been writing 3 things for which I grateful each day for 4 months. It is a habit that is working. (Read some books on the brain and this book's concepts really hit home.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I have ever read! Shawn's uncanny ability to tell a story while teaching this unique "advantage" is amazing and true gift. I could not put this book down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book
Yogjen More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Great studies, statistics, and easy to impliment tips!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First of all, I would have to say I agree with the reviewer who said it was too expensive.  $12.00 would have been appropriate, not $25.00.  And another reviewer mentioned too much discussion regarding 'antidotes' although I believe it was anecdotes.  The first 50 pages were him descring how happiness helps you, how he taught this at Harvard, etc.  Seeing as the book was 210 pages, I think he should have coned this down to 10 pages max.   By poage 50, I was about to toss the book until I looked over at page 51 where he was giving some practical examples.  However, meditation, exercise and spending your money on activities that are socially enjoyable rather than on things is pretty well known. During most the the rest of the book, I felt I was just sitting there at Starbucks listening to someone tell me their opinions.  There was very little practical, hands on application until page 160-170 in which he discussed the 20 second rule and other approaches to breaking bad habits or reforming good ones.  But other than that, the book was filled with observations that anyone has had ovver the  years or heard from a good friend or family member.  I would not recommend this book to any of my friends and am sorry I spent the money.
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Tuscaloosa More than 1 year ago
Great book with great practical advice!! An eye opener!!
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