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

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  5,911 ratings  ·  554 reviews
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
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Hardcover, 237 pages
Published September 30th 2010 by Crown Publishing (first published January 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lauren Albert
There have, of late, been a spate of "anti-happiness-books books." I thought this was an excellent example of the kind of book that doesn't deserve the attacks. First, he explains why happy people are more successful, giving examples of psychological studies that have been done. Then he lays out his "Seven principles"--for each one he: a) backs it up with empirical evidence and b) gives practical strategies for making use of the principles. He never overstates his case. He is clearly not trying ...more
Stacy
This book is one of a growing library of research that supports what I've believed for the past few years: that happiness is a skill you can develop. What's great about this book is that it doesn't make the assumption that something is inherently wrong with the reader, and gives readers practical advice on small things they can do to get their brains more tuned in to being happy. It's a state of mind—one that does come more naturally to some than others—but it's also a muscle that can be exercis ...more
Bill Krieger
My goodness. What a polarizing experience!

Good - The material in The Happiness Advantage is good. I personally believe in most of the stuff the author ascribes. Hey, if you wake up, look yourself in the mirror and smile, then you're probably on your way to a pretty good day. Positivity!

Bad - The author's writing style and presentation of this material is brutal, straight out of an infomercial. Everyone is an "expert". The author has personally advised and guided every leader in the free world.
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Michael
I feel I should preface this 5-star review by saying that you will only get out of it what you put in. While it's not a workbook per se, this is definitely a manual. I picked up the book after I saw Shawn Achor's TED Talk on positive psychology. It rang true on a lot of elements, most of all the idea that success does not lead to happiness, because the next success is always on the horizon. So, what if happiness is the first step, and not the goal?

I think I found this book at exactly the right t
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Mike
Self-help books have a stigma to them, to be sure. And there's plenty of reasons to be bitter about how happiness has become a corporate commodity. Meaning that high-level executives will pay big dollars to have people with findings ranging from half-baked to mildly sophisticated tell them exactly what they want to hear. This practice of giving a "empowering" (read: complacency-inspiring) talk to these executives is known around the world as TED talks. High-profile academics, scientists, and ent ...more
Rana DiOrio
The Précis. This book debunks the commonly held belief that success breeds happiness. The reality is the inverse, that happiness breeds success. Shawn Achor draws upon not only his own extensive research at Harvard University but also other compelling empirical evidence and case studies to demonstrate the point. Reading this important book will change the lens through which you view life and will put you on the path to happiness . . . and success.

The Seven Principals. Achor succinctly promulgat
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Alec
A couple things. First, has the author heard of this thing called a sub-editor? As with most business-cod-psychology-self-help books, the meaningful content here is padded with tons of extraneous filler. Achor can't get halfway to making one point in a chapter without running off the horizon in 8 other directions with 12 other anecdotes. Read Wittgenstein's Tractatus to learn how to make a sustained statement succinctly, jeez.

Second, I curse the day Malcom Gladwell became famous for creating mea
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Deb
*Happily recommended :-)*

Oh, this book makes me happy. Over and over again. Not only is it a joy to read (how can reading about happiness not be uplifting?), but the clear and easily executable principles for achieving happiness are so effective. Think of this book as to how-to of positive psychology.

Shawn does an amazing job of distilling the research and findings of positive psychology that predict happiness and success into seven key principles:

1. The happiness advantage--the way we can retr
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YW Low 劉耀詠
In summary, the book has 7 points:

1. Happy people has advantage; happier at workplace etc.

2. You can't change reality, but you can change how you process the world.

3. If one has a negative outlook on things that is a habit. A pattern that can be broken.

4. When facing crisis, one has to find a path that leads us from failure to a place of strength.

5. Limit your focus to small, manageable goals to gain greater control and power.

6. We can form new habits if we make it easy to do the right thi
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Julie
When it comes to happiness and success, writes Shawn Anchor, most of us have things backwards. We believe that when we're successful (or buy a new iphone, take our next vacation, or get a promotion), then we'll be happy. In fact, Anchor says, the science of positive psychology has shown that things really work the other way around. Instead of success driving happiness, happiness instead drives success -- in work, in life, in relationships. The Happiness Advantage is an attempt to lay out the pri ...more
Froztwolf
Unlike most books in the genre, this book is deeply rooted in psychology studies and written by a researcher, rather than a journalist or a professional author. Yet, it never gets dry or pedantic.

Fantastic book for anyone interested in being happy.

To begin with, it spends a considerable portion of the book explaining what the effects of happiness are on individuals and groups, dispelling any lingering fears that maybe working towards individual happiness is selfish and unproductive.
In fact th
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Maria
Looked forward to reading this but quickly was turned off my the author's anecdotes of business travel, being a consultant to this or that, etc. After several chapters I wondered when the point of the book would begin. When I finally, chapters in, started finding what seemed like the meat of the book I was disappointed to find only bullet point tidbits of "a study found that this or that" - tidbits one would expect to glean from a source like Prevention magazine. Didn't finish. Will try to find ...more
Justine
This was a quick and satisfying read. The studies are all well-documented and the author writes in a conversational and humorous tone, making for a smart, fun book on happiness. I picked up this book because I found the author's TED talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_...) enlightening and helpful. I've followed his "3 good things" advice for about six months and it absolutely helps to create a more positive mindset. While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I'd honestly recommend the TED tal ...more
Adam Crossley
This book provides 7 principles that the author posits are scientifically verified and will help the reader be more happy. He argues that this happiness will make them more effective at work and help them to get ahead. Do you struggle with depression? Do you feel overwhelmed at work? Perhaps some of these suggestions could help.

I thought this book was generally interesting. I like the reminders to invest in work place friendships. Those are valuable and lead to greater work satisfaction. It is a
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Lesleigh Lippitt
One of those books whose simple message makes for instant palm-to-forehead action. The 'simple' is that Shawn says we've mostly had the 'happiness thing' backwards...instead of STARTING with accomplishments/clothes/figures/cars/cuteness/thin-ness/curves/whatEVER, that will 'make us happy,' his research indicates that Happiness IS the STARTING POINT.

Another one of those wonderful upsidedown ideas that just takes Practice and Persistence, sprinkled with a scootch of Optimism...and, boring as all t
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Sandra Bornstein
I cannot remember why I decided to add The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work. to my Kindle. It sat unread for months. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. I was intrigued by the way Shawn presented key psychological theories in an easy to read format. While the heavy emphasis on business applications and life at Harvard were not of direct interest, I could apply what he was saying to my general life.

After reading the b
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Fabio Bracht
Apesar de ser bem pouco rebuscado, místico, ou misterioso (aliás, este livro é meio o oposto destas três coisas: simples, pé no chão e acessível), é um dos melhores livros que já li, cheio de lições, estudos, conclusões e propostas de hábitos que vou levar para a vida toda.

O livro fala basicamente sobre como a ideia de "trabalhar para ter sucesso para ter felicidade", nessa ordem, não apenas está errada, como está completamente invertida. Diversas pesquisas mais ou menos recentes demonstram que
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Kara
A great expansion of Achor's wildly entertaining TedTalk: http://bit.ly/TXVCLS

The book isn't quite as funny as the talk (though it certainly has its moments), but it's worth reading. It's fresh, entertaining, and you finish it feeling good. Achor doesn't merely tell you that it's good to be happy (because, um, duh), but he provides simple tools to help you get there: smile at people, look for the positive, strengthen your relationships, take overwhelming tasks a little bit at a time.

Okay, yes,
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Steffen
A brillant book with concrete techniques to change ones habits, founded in extensive research. I have started implementing what the author recommends in my life, and I have begun to see the results, only few weeks after. I was happy before, and now I'm happier. I think also more productive, but that I have not measured yet. Much of what is presented, is common sense I think, but the difference is, that it is articulated in ways I can not, and is tested in research studies. I like the link the bo ...more
Ryan Agrimson
Did you ever notice how happy successful people are? Which came first; their success or happiness? Shawn Achor gives fundamental proof that people are actually successful because they're happy and not the other way around. Achor provides robust evidence proving that a positive attitude will snowball into many opportunities for success. How is this possible?
Through personal experience in behavioral science and social science studies as well as drawing from other experiments and events, Achor pai
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Jennifer
For work, I recently watched a Ted Talk with Shawn Achor explaining The Happiness Advantage and how positive psychology can influence people to lead a happier existence at work and in life in general. The book is circling the office, and I was lucky enough to get an audio book copy. I'm not really good at reading self-help type books since I always think they are weird. Does my self need help? I mean, does it? I have always felt like a pretty positive and happy person regardless, so this book wa ...more
Payam
It surprises me that common people tend to look at the "serious" individual as the competent leader. As though their cold, logical, and dominating attitude provides them the keys to the doors of happiness and success. This book makes a strong case for the opposite. In this book, the argument is made that your "Happiness" is the key to the doors of success and life satisfaction. By tapping into your natural ability to be happy, you have a better foundation to lead, to form relationships, and to u ...more
Jonathan
Writing about happiness is all the rage these days as it should be, however I admit that I was very skeptical of this book as I was expecting something with trite observations and not much meat. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the framework, research and tactical advice were far above my expectations.

There were some fascinating studies cited about correlation between happiness and success (that happiness causes success and not the other way around). One interesting one involved a 1917 s
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Nicholas
Yet another surprising read from the field of psychology and neuroscience this year. The Happiness Advantage is NOT a self-help book - and it's a good thing, because I loathe the genre. Achor culls real applicable lessons from fascinating studies in classical and modern psychology as well as neuroscience (a field I have much more respect for as a materialist) into a plan of action for individuals as well as organizations to make the most out of the way our brains work productively and creatively ...more
Babette
It may read like a light gust of pop psychology, but for what it's worth, The Happiness Advantage has helped me get my groove back at the close of a difficult and stressful year. One of the public reviews refers to this as a manual. I agree and am wondering where best to keep it for easy reference. (A second copy for the Kindle? Perhaps!). For those considering reading, Achor's premise is that success does not bring happiness, happiness brings success. His seven principles are easy to read quick ...more
Paul
This book is about a question that seems to have an easy answer. Do we become first successful and then happy, or do we become happy and then successful?

The power of thinking positive is exploited ad nauseum in the self-improvement genre. Achor takes a different approached backing up his theories with statistics and experiments.

I found it a good book focused on how organizations can better focus on having its employees happy and have the benefit of better productivity and a better bottom line as
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Cody
I heard of Shawn Achor and this book through his talk on TED.com. Both he and the talk were fantastic, invigorating, and had the potential to be life-changing (especially to me–a self-confessed pessimist and neurotic). While the book is fantastic, it does have a tendency to sort of just rinse and repeat the information. The book is, quite literally, the talk Achor gives on TED.com, but much much more stretched out. While some of the extension was helpful, I found myself skimming, as I felt I und ...more
Michelle
Well researched and written book on something that seems to befuddle each of us at some point - how do we find happiness? This book offers great insights and changes that we can each implement to move us on our way...even in 20 seconds!! I highly recommend it.
Christine Hamblen
Anchor's research is interesting and applicable to all of us. The stories he shares are relatable and encouraging. The strategies for cultivating your own happiness and believing that you can impact not only your own important life but scores of others' lives, is motivating and reassuring.
Jen
I took a lot away from this book even though I feel happy in my job. I plan to use some of the exercises to improve as a manager and leader within my organization and improve my overall satisfaction at work and home. I liked his use of stories and metaphors to help the principles "stick." Very accessible as a business book.
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“Habits are like financial capital – forming one today is an investment that will automatically give out returns for years to come.” 17 likes
“Each one of us is like that butterfly the Butterfly Effect . And each tiny move toward a more positive mindset can send ripples of positivity through our organizations our families and our communities.” 12 likes
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