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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

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,642 Ratings  ·  896 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
Hardcover, 237 pages
Published September 30th 2010 by Crown Publishing (first published January 1st 2010)
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Lauren Albert
Jan 15, 2011 Lauren Albert rated it really liked it
Shelves: business-career
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
YW Low 劉耀詠
Aug 25, 2011 YW Low 劉耀詠 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Jan 22, 2012 Stacy rated it it was amazing
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
May 09, 2012 Rory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mario Tomic
Sep 01, 2015 Mario Tomic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm so glad I've picked up this book the other day, for a very long time I was trapped in the mindset of "if you just work hard, you'll be happy" and even made a video about being happy with what you have vs. continually bettering yourself. This book gave me a new, much clearer perspective on happiness. One of the things that really hit hard was the fact when author point out when you don't schedule your "play" time deliberately and precisely you will most likely waste that time without getting ...more
Rana DiOrio
Feb 21, 2012 Rana DiOrio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
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
Nov 16, 2014 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
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
Sep 24, 2012 Alec rated it it was ok
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
Oct 29, 2014 Maria rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: happiness
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
May 07, 2011 Froztwolf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 08, 2012 Deb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*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
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
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
Robert Meyro
May 16, 2016 Robert Meyro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While most people assume that success will bring them happiness, this book allows the reader to take a step back and evaluate why this may not be the case. Instead, by being more positive or happy, we can live life in the moment and stop striving for some elusive "success" that is somewhere in the horizon and always out of reach. While this may seem obvious, Shawn Achor is able to illustrate why most people are not so good at finding a happiness equilibrium. In a world where more and more people ...more
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 ( 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
Sep 04, 2014 Adam Crossley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 12, 2013 Payam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Dec 29, 2013 Nicholas rated it it was amazing
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
Fabio Bracht
Jan 28, 2013 Fabio Bracht rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 14, 2013 Kara rated it it was amazing
A great expansion of Achor's wildly entertaining TedTalk:

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,
Apr 06, 2012 Steffen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 10, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most people think they know what they need to do to be happy, but do they really? More importantly, do you know what will bring you happiness?

This book is definitely worth reading (or listening to!)

Filled with lots of stories and examples, this is an easy read or listen.

Shawm Achor is a great author who discovers the happiness and defines exactly when it comes in our life.There is a great difference between the success and the happiness. After a long research of psychology and human behavior the seven specific and proven patterns that predict success achievement. a)The Happiness Advantage: Positive thoughts in our brain makes us to improve our productivity and performance. b)The Fulcrum & the lever:The experiences that we face in this world and adjust the m ...more
Feb 21, 2016 Brittany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book! A lot of the information he relates I had heard before, but he outlines everything in an easy to understand and easily relatable manner that makes you want to immediately practice positive psychology and improve your life.
Tax auditors, for instance, are not known for happiness.

u avin a ggl ther m8

ill bash ye fookin ead in I sware on me mum

So in December of 2008, I gave three hours of positive psychology training to 250 managers at KPMG.


Then I returned to see if the training had helped inoculate these individuals against the negative effects of stress. Testing showed that the principles did just that, and in very short order; the group of auditors who had gone through the training reported significantl
May 18, 2016 Robin rated it it was amazing
I’ve noticed for some time that truly happy people typically have successful careers but highly successful career people aren’t always happy. In my own life I’ve seen that trying hard to create career success made me more stressed and less happy with my life, but relaxing and doing things that made me happy gave me plenty of creative ideas that led to a more lucrative and fulfilling career. However, I did not realize that positive psychology is a bona fide discipline, and that many studies scien ...more
Christopher Wild
I loved this book. So many linked & usable tidbits on principles!

Benjamin Franklin made up a list of thirteen virtues wherein he would review one virtue every day for a week before rotating to the next in the list, repeating each virtue 4x each year. Personally, I'd love to reinforce Franklin's weeklies coupled with some of Shawn's happiness principles.

I may start reading it again, immediately even.
Brittany Nethers
I really loved this book. Shawn Achor is, quite literally, a genius. Watch his TedX talk, then read the book. It has the power to change so many lives.

Achor gives us simple ways to change our lives and the statistics to back up these beliefs, and he somehow manages to explain positive psychology in a fun way. I highly recommend this quick read for everyone!
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Shawn Achor (born 1977 or 1978) is an American educator, author, and speaker known for his advocacy of positive psychology. He is best known for his research reversing the formula of success leading to happiness—his research shows that happiness in fact leads to success. Achor spent 12 years studying what makes people happy at Harvard University. He later authored The Happiness Advantage and found ...more
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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.” 26 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.” 22 likes
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