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Publisher's Summary

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.
©2010 Shawn Achor (P)2010 Random House Audio
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Critic Reviews

"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." (The Wall Street Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Sara on 10-29-14

Putting Positive Thinking To Work

I liked this book. It really presents the "act as if" mentality and has numerous ideas and behavioral suggestions to increase your feelings of well being. I did think that much of the focus was on the work place. If you are a stay-at-home worker you can still use the info but not everything actually pertains to your situation. However, the studies and insights are still really interesting to hear about.

A positive listen about choosing to be happy.

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24 of 25 people found this review helpful


By Mark Miller on 05-22-12

Save yourself the money, just watch the TED talk

For me the book is a long winded pitch for the DVD and/or consulting.

It's a solid premise and yes its based on the latest research but it doesn't offer the concrete "how to" I would have liked. I had watched the TED talk and loved it, purchased the book and didn't really feel any better equipped on how to put it all into practice. Cue a lucrative consulting arrangement or DVD sale for Shawn.

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56 of 62 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Mark on 09-24-11

Practical positivity that lasts

The practical exercises in this book, particularly the daily What Went Well exercise, are deceptively simple yet so powerful. I have listened to the book several times, applied the exercises and introduced them to my workplace and the courses we teach with remarkable impact. For anyone looking to apply the techniques the I Journal app and daily reminder to do the What Went Well exercises also help.

The stories are so well told by the engaging and often humorous author it's easy to get enthused by the material. The practical, evidence based and easy to apply techniques make this book stand out.

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15 of 15 people found this review helpful


By Paul on 02-29-12

Extremely worthwhile

While it might have just been a case of the right book at the right time, this book genuinely *has* changed my life, largely thanks to the passages on 'activation energy' - which were both revelatory and laugh out loud funny. Achor is an understated, self-deprecating author/narrator who avoids the 'fluff' and focuses on the scientifically supportable and (more importantly) actionable aspects of positive psychology.

Ignore the bit that says 'at work' - this book applies to all areas of your life.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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