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The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work Paperback – 1 Sep 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books (1 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753539470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753539477
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Achor transports us to his virtual classroom, a journey along which we glean the seven secrets of happiness. "The Happiness Advantage "reveals the most important discoveries coming out of modern psychology." (Rom Brafman, bestselling co-author of "Sway" and "Click")

"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...." (Wall Street Journal)

Book Description

Traditional psychology tells us that success makes us happy. Discover why this isn't true and what steps you can take to really become successful and happier

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Having already read Tal Ben-Shahar's The Pursuit of Perfect: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Start Living a Richer, Happier Life as well as Jessica Pryce-Jones' Happiness at Work: Maximizing Your Psychological Capital for Success, and having absorbed and digested what their authors share, I was curious to know what (if anything) new Shawn Achor could contribute to the on-going multi-logue and how well the material is organized and presented. My rating correctly indicates what I think he has accomplished. Others have their own reasons for admiring this book. Here are two of mine.

First, Achor introduces seven principles that serve as the foundation of what he characterizes as "the happiness advantage": positive brains have a significant biological advantage over brains that are neutral and an even more substantial biological advantage over brains that are negative. In fact, The Happiness Advantage" also serves as the first principle, followed by

2. The Fulcrum and the Lever: How a positive mindset (fulcrum) can leverage power to achieve success (however defined)

3. The Tetris Effect: How that same positive mindset can recognize can recognize patterns of possibility that leads to possibilities that would otherwise be missed

4. Falling Up: When experiencing a major crisis or encountering a major threat, how selecting the right mental "path" will reveal the best course of action to take

5. The Zorro Circle: When coping with crisis or threat, how to control emotions "by focusing first on small, manageable goals, and then gradually expanding our circle to achieve progressively bigger ones"

6.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having watched the great TED talk by Shawn Achor I wanted to check out his book. I'm really glad I did. I was interested in the science more than the practical advice because I didn't feel I needed it. However, the book has reinforced my belief in habits that I already had and has added some great new ideas to try. I would recommend this book to anybody who... just anybody who can read. It's full of interesting concepts and practical ideas, backed up by research rather than anecdotes or the belief that the universe will realign if you wish hard enough.

I would highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How many times have you read this; This book will change your life.

Ahem, well, actually this book will change your life if you let it. Building on the work of Martin Seligman at Penn State University, Shawn Achor is one of the new young turks in psychology taking the findings of positive psychology and applying them to business and everyday life. These ideas are quite revolutionary, as is the whole of positive psychology predicated as it is on using what we know about our brains to enable us to use them more effectively. Before positive psychology came along, the psychological effort of humanity was focused Eeyore like on the negative side of our mental lives, exploring all of the things that could go wrong with the complex human mind. Mental illness and psychology were basically synonyms, with the medical disciplines fetishising when brains go wrong over applying its understandings in a more balanced, life-affirming way. Positive psychology restores that balance, acknowledging that there's a lot we can do in weeding our own mental garden in a manner that means we live as happy a life as possible. In fact, the premise of Shawn's wonderful book is that - happiness doesn't follow success, it is the other way round. We are, Achor says (and he backs his assertions up with buckets of evidence and examples) more likely to be successful when we are positive and happy - up to 30% more successful - because brains in a positive state are more imaginative, responsive and flexible.

The book contains 7 basic principles which Achor calls the Happiness Advantage. He is a persuasive and entertaining writer and public speaker, his TED talk is here and as you can see his work is gaining a lot of attention (12 million hits and counting).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a pretty good book with easy-to-implement tips for becoming happier. I think there are better books out there - Tal Ben-Shahar's "Happier" is good, and some of Paul McKenna's books are great too. The upside of this book is that it's funny, there are interesting examples, and it's all backed up with quite rigorous science. The downside is that, in my opinion, you can get the most important information from watching Shawn Achor's TED talk. Also I have to say, although this book contains a lot of good ideas, I haven't done much about them since reading it. Whereas with Rick Hanson's 'Just One Thing', which has 52 easy ideas for greater happiness, you can start them straight away, and I did. Last slight criticism - the emphasis in The Happiness Advantage is on being happier in order to be better at work and life... but I tend to think that being happier could really be an aim in itself, without it needing to be "if you're happier, you can process your emails faster". My advice is to watch the TED talk instead.
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