The Happiness Advantage

  • by Shawn Achor
  • Narrated by Shawn Achor
  • 7 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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What the Critics Say

"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

I found this very boring book, w/ a few ok points

The Happiness Advantage

Happiness leads to greater success, not success makes us happy.

Because top achievers like you are always changing and adjusting your goals, we create what Dan Sullivan calls “The Gap.” The GAP is similar to the horizon….you can keep driving forever, but you never get there. When we get to our “success,” we change what success looks like. As a result, most people don’t experience the true feeling of success; and if we have to be “successful” to be happy, we never get there.

Our brains work in the opposite order. If you can raise the brain’s level of positivity or happiness in the present, then success rates rise. There is a new study in what’s called “Positive Psychology,” and it consists of studying why positive people consistently outperform the norm. So what causes people to be more optimistic?

Meditating for 5 to 15 minutes a day will increase your happiness dramatically, just concentrate on your breathing in and out. Breathe in through your nose and off through your mouth. The in breathe should be shorter than the out breathe

When our brains always look for the positives in everything the better you will feel, the more you concentrate on the negatives the more negatives you get.

Just thinking about your favorite movie or happiest time in your life raises your endorphins.

Our belief in another person life can bring that belief to life. We believe we can do more or when other believes that is when we usually do more.

1. Gratitude: Our brain is similar to a single processor for experiencing the world. If we are processing all the negatives (stress, bad relationships, world news), then our brain doesn’t have the resources to create a better future. Focus on the good stuff!

2. Social Support Level: This is the people you choose to have around you. Do the people around you support you with positivity? Research says that only 25% of success is predicted by intelligence and technical skills and 75% is predicted by social support!

3. Seeing Problems or Stress as Opportunities. People who see potentially negative situations as opportunities or a challenge have more optimism than those who see the same situations as negative. Optimism creates positive results.

4. Belief: Having the belief or faith that everything always works out like it’s supposed to provide optimism to everyday circumstances and situations.

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- Ralph

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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- Mark Miller "markymiller"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-14-2010
  • Publisher: Random House Audio