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.
©2010 Shawn Achor (P)2010 Random House Audio
"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)
Trainer, Facilitator and Coach
The practical exercises in this book, particularly the daily What Went Well exercise, are deceptively simple yet so powerful. I have listened to the book several times, applied the exercises and introduced them to my workplace and the courses we teach with remarkable impact. For anyone looking to apply the techniques the I Journal app and daily reminder to do the What Went Well exercises also help.
The stories are so well told by the engaging and often humorous author it's easy to get enthused by the material. The practical, evidence based and easy to apply techniques make this book stand out.
While it might have just been a case of the right book at the right time, this book genuinely *has* changed my life, largely thanks to the passages on 'activation energy' - which were both revelatory and laugh out loud funny. Achor is an understated, self-deprecating author/narrator who avoids the 'fluff' and focuses on the scientifically supportable and (more importantly) actionable aspects of positive psychology.
Ignore the bit that says 'at work' - this book applies to all areas of your life.
The author explains with great clarity and supporting scientific information the importance of positive thought. I found the advice on implementing positive and lasting change to be incredibly insightful and practical. I enjoyed this book so much that I've given it as a gift to quite a few people.
In a nutshell, Shawn Achor is a Harvard Graduate/Professor who specialises in psychology of the link between happiness and performance (or vice versa). He manages to successfully outline that link and gives you an easy-to-understand guide into how to become happier and optimistic so that you can go out and start achieving greater success. A very easy to listen and the results, for me at least, has been very rewarding.
I am over half way through this book and I am struggling to pay attention!
The content in general is quite good but the monotonous style of the narrative is a bit mind numbing. I keep finding myself drifting off and thinking about something completely different and then phasing back in to the realisation that the narrator is still talking! This is unlike me as I have a good attention span, especially for things I find interesting. This is a subject I normally would enjoy.
The author / Narrator has also tried to inject comedy into the content, this in itself is a good thing, but the delivery is so flat and monotone that you don't even realise it was supposed to be a joke!
A final criticism is the intense amount of statistics being quoted. Its like the author expects the listener not to believe what he is saying so he feels the need to bombard you with far too many statistics. Key statistics are helpful and re-assuring but this many is just annoying!
I am a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist and bought this book to add to my library of similar titles. Some of the previous reviews almost put me off but I am SO glad that they didn't. The Happiness Advantage is well written, informative and pitched at a level that we can all get our heads around. The advice given is sound, evidence based and laced with personal examples and experiences. This is ideal for individuals looking for development, but I am also convinced that no matter what my line of business, or size of company, if I was the CEO I would ensure that EVERY manager within my organisation got a copy in their Christmas stocking. Get this book - get happy and get successful as a result!
Good stuff: lots of evidence, from diverse sources. Plenty of anecdotes and examples.
Not so good stuff: agree about the narrator, he just sounds as though he's 'phoning it in'. Shame, if Mr Achor speaks and does presentations, that he couldn't do his own reading, as I'm sure it would be a better listen. If you've read/listened to books by Martin Seligman, Jon Kabatt-Zin, Barbara Frederickson and Carol Dwek, then there's not much here that will be new to you. If you haven't this audio will serve as a useful intro.
One of the self help books with bang up to date theories that make sense and easily digestable. What can be more important than being happy. Narrator is a bit monotone and you can find your mind wanders unless you concentrate. Besides that I can -happily- recommend this audiobook.
A great book, really genuinely very interesting. have recommended it to everyone i've spoken to over the last week or so. would benefit from summarizing core principles every so often, as unlike with a real book, skimming backward or folding pages to remind yourself is not such an potion :)
will listen again though to try and gleen as much of this happy wisdom as i can.
I have listened to a number of similar audio books and books and I this is one of the best. I find that audio books narrated by the author of the book are always much better and it definitely works here. The 7 principles given maybe seem obvious but until you here them explained you don't realise in how much of life they can be applied.
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