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“Well-thought-out steps for promoting workplace optimism.”
New York Times bestselling author Shawn Achor explores how rewiring our brain for pleasure helps us achieve more in our occupations and relationships, as well as as students, leaders, and parents, in the book that inspired one of the most successful TED Talks of all time.
According to conventional wisdom, if we succeed, we will be happy; if we obtain that fantastic job, receive that next promotion, or lose those five pounds, happiness will follow. However, science shows that this formula is backwards: success fuels happiness, not the other way around.
According to studies, happy employees are more productive, creative, and problem solvers than their miserable counterparts. Happy people are also healthier, less stressed, and have more social engagement than those around them who are less positive.
Achor shows us how to rewire our brains for positivity and optimism to reap the happiness advantage in our lives, careers, and even our health, based on his original research—including one of the largest studies of happiness ever conducted—and work in boardrooms and classrooms across forty-two countries. Among his tactics are:
• Social Investment: How to Profit from a Strong Social Support Network
• The Ripple Effect: How to Spread Positive Change Within Our Teams, Companies, and Families
The Happiness Advantage is an interesting, uplifting, and important book that shows how modest changes in our mindset and behaviors may lead to large improvements at work, at home, and elsewhere.
Table of Contents
Summary of The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor Pdf
Lesson 1: Successful people are happy, not the other way around.
This is the book’s central message. Martin Seligman, the “father” of positive psychology, conducted a research in which the happiness of 272 employees was tracked for 18 months. Those who were happier before the study had a better chance of succeeding later.
It makes perfect sense when you think about it. Instead of focusing on becoming successful in the future so that you can be happy now, focus on becoming happy now so that you can be successful later.
Which sounds more straightforward?. Making a million dollars, or boosting your serotonin levels by watching a hilarious movie so you can do better on a math test later today, as serotonin helps memory?
Of course, this is an oversimplification, but happiness is all about your perspective. You can’t always control what occurs to you, but you can control how you react to it.
For example, research has shown that simply anticipating something pleasant (like that amusing video) can increase endorphin levels by 27 percent.
Lesson 2: Use “The Tetris Effect” to train your brain to look for positives.
I was completely unaware of this. It’s fantastic.
When you spend hours upon hours doing a single activity, you get the Tetris effect. The setting of the activity gets so intense that it spills over into the rest of your life.
People who played Tetris for several hours a day, for example, began seeing the blocks before sleeping and visualizing cereal boxes falling into place.
According to Shawn Achor, this can be both positive and bad. In the instance of Tetris, players began to optimize their surroundings and became more productive.
To become more optimistic, you can educate your brain to recognize the positive aspects of your life.
You might begin a thankfulness practice by writing down three things you’re grateful for each day. I’ve been doing this for three years and it always puts a nice perspective on your day, regardless of what transpired.
Lesson 3: Use failures as stepping stones instead of falling down. Three things can happen after each failure, crisis, or disaster:
Nothing is different.
You’re stuck in a downward spiral, and horrible things keep happening to you.
You’ve returned stronger than ever.
Obviously, you should aim towards scenario number three as much as feasible. When it comes to situations, your brain always comes up with new ones after a horrible experience. These are known as counterfacts, and they are where you gain control.
You must choose to believe the alternative possibility, which will require you to work harder rather than less.
About the Author
Biography Shawn Achor has won over a dozen distinguished teaching honors at Harvard University, where he spoke on positive psychology in Harvard’s most popular class. Shawn has established himself as one of the world’s foremost experts on the link between happiness and achievement. Shawn’s happiness research was featured on the cover of Harvard Business Review in 2012, and his TED presentation has over 3.8 million views. He also has a new lecture showing on PBS called “The Happiness Advantage.” Shawn is presently leading the Everyday Matters campaign with the National MS Society and Genzyme to illustrate how people with chronic illnesses may choose to be happy.
Shawn started Good Think in 2007 to share his knowledge with the rest of the globe. Shawn has since taught or conducted research in 49 countries, speaking to CEOs in China, schoolchildren in South Africa, doctors in Dubai, and farmers in Zimbabwe, among others. He has spoken to the Abu Dhabi Royal Family, clinicians at St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and the US Department of Health to encourage happiness.
Shawn received a magna cum laude from Harvard and a master’s degree in Christian and Buddhist ethics from Harvard Divinity School. Shawn was also an Officer of Harvard for seven years, living in Harvard Yard and helping students through the difficulties of their first year. Shawn continues to do unique psychology research on happiness and organizational accomplishment in cooperation with Yale University and the Institute for Applied Positive Research, despite the fact that he now travels widely for his work. — This paragraph relates to an alternate kindle edition edition.