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The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles Of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success And Performance At Work (2010)

The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work (2010)

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4.09 of 5 Votes: 5
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0307591565 (ISBN13: 9780307591562)
Crown Business

About book The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles Of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success And Performance At Work (2010)

Shawn Achor ran a happiness class at Harvard that was consistently at capacity. This was a really good book -- written in an accessible tone, fun and conversational. The principles he set forth are below. Achor has them in a different order in his book (which is reflected in the numbering preceding each principle -- I promise I actually can count), but I reordered them in a sequence of what I see as most interesting/ helpful to least helpful. 1. The Happiness Advantage -- the idea that happiness drives success, not the other way around. This was a really interesting concept for me. I often found myself in a mental paradigm in which I thought, "If I get to X or accomplish Y goal, then I'll be really happy." Which is true, but only for a while and then you're on to conquer the rest of the alphabet. Really, it's better to think of how having a happy outlook can help you to achieve your goals - after all, it makes you more productive, creative and likable. 7. Social Investment - when stressed, invest in time with friends and family, rather than focusing on the source of stress. 6. 20 second rule - My favorite Principle. I'm sure all of us have little (or big) things we would like to change, but we only have so much willpower. Ie: going for a run every morning. The fewer obstacles in between us and the goal, the more likely we are to do it because we need to use less will power. Like if I wear running shorts to sleep and have my ipod ready to go, making things really easy for myself, I'm more likely to go for a run. If I wake up, need to find my ipod and change into shorts, etc, I'm more likely to bail on the run. 5. The Zorro Circle - when things seem overwhelming, focus on what you can actually control 4. Failing Up - people who are able to reframe a perceived failure as having some skim benefit are happier. 3. Tetris Effect - The name of the principle comes from a study of people who made to play tetris consistently, and the finding was that they would see everyday objects basically as tetris pieces -- tetris was everywhere! So it was this idea that if you engage in a certain activity, you see the residuals of it around you. So the lesson to be derived from this is to scan your environment for positive elements . . . ok. 2. The Fulcrum and the Lever - pretty straightforward, having a positive attitude (reminds me of inspirational posters from elementary school) The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor is pretty much the perfect combination of science and emotion (for me, at least). Shawn Achor is a Harvard professor who specializes in positive psychology and its benefits. The book advertises itself as a guide to "fuel success and performance at work," but the concepts are incredibly applicable to your daily life, not just work. Shawn Achor talks about his experience as a business consultant at the beginning of our current recession. His job was to come in and tell these employees how being happier will make them more productive ... when in reality they had very little to be happy about (it was the time of mass layoffs and closing businesses). In his lectures, he would teach the idea of focusing on key decisions in the workers' day to increase their happiness and then have them watch for the results. He helped companies like American Express and IBM - definitely the heavy hitters of the game at the time.The thing I like most about the book (in my opinion) is that it doesn't just say, "Be happy, you'll do better in life." The book backs up every suggestion with a scientific or sociological study. I am a person who needs more than just some warm and fuzzy affirmations to make me want to change, and this book fulfills that need for me. It has been a while since I read it, so I can't site many specific examples, but here are a few things I learned/loved. People who say they are "naturally unlucky" tend to not notice outside opportunities to make their situation better (backed up by a very cool study). Your ability to persevere in trials can be developed like a muscle and will make you happier. The 20 second rule is absolutely a real thing in my life - this is the idea that something that will take 20 seconds longer to accomplish (i.e. is 20 seconds less convenient to access, etc) will make your brain less likely to actually push you to do it. This is something that I noticed about myself even before I read this book, but now I have a Harvard professor's word on the subject, lol.In spite of my reservations, I enjoyed this book immensely. It really is true that this book will change your life. It didn't cause any huge events to come to pass or anything, but it helped me to re-tune my brain in small ways to help me look at the brighter side and it really has made a huge difference in how I perceive my situation. Things could always be worse than they are, and knowing that can make a big difference in how happy I am. I have developed a greater appreciation of things I have verses things I don't have, and I catch myself in my former negative habits at work and with my husband now so I can make beneficial changes that I did not recognize before reading this book. I cannot recommend reading this enough - in fact, I can only imagine how much better we could all be if everyone read it. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

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Makes sense. Your own mood not only affects how others see you but how you see yourself...

Related to one of my favorite TED talks.

Helpful book with helpful action steps

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