¶"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
A happiness researcher investigates why some people can embrace positivity while others are mired in pessimism. Expanding on the theories he presented in The Happiness Advantage (2010)--primarily, that a "happy brain" can lead to greater professional and personal success--Achor now turns his attention to the question of how people learn to accept the possibility of happiness in the first place. Happiness, the author claims, is not the same as blind optimism but rather the ability to focus on the positive aspects of a situation while not becoming overwhelmed by the challenges. Yet how do those prone to negativity train themselves to have a more positive outlook? Achor breaks it down to a five-step process: learning to see the most "valuable reality" in a given situation; planning or "mapping" a course that will lead to success; using tools to view a goal as more achievable; cancelling out negative "noise"; and sharing or "franchising" this newfound happiness with others. Achor's unnecessary use of invented jargon ("reality architecture," "success accelerants," "meaning markers") makes the book seem more convoluted than it is. By far, the most helpful components are not his theoretical arguments but his examples and applications. Drawing from his stint in the Navy and at Harvard, as well as his experiences as a business speaker, Achor is able to offer specific instances to support his claims. Of course, the concept that positive thinking can lead to a better life is not news, but Achor takes it a step further by offering easy-to-follow activities that can help one view life more positively. While business leaders may have an interest in the author's research, the book seems less applicable to organizations than to individuals, especially those navigating the current economy. Advice that goes beyond generalized assertions by providing a set of useful tasks designed to inspire a happier outlook on life.