Review: The Happiness Advantage
Q: How many times have you heard this?
“Work hard to be successful, and then you’ll be happy.”
A: Too many times to count?
This general cultural understanding, that happiness follows success, is pervasive. It has been intimated so much, and so often, that it has become one of those ‘unspoken truths’ that people just believe without really giving it much thought.
Luckily for us author Shawn Achor debunks this myth in his book The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work.
Turns out, prevailing wisdom is all wrong, and the exact opposite is true. Happiness precedes success. In fact, as we become happier, the more successful we become. And to top it off Achor goes so far as to proclaim that ‘happiness is a work ethic.’
During Achor’s time working as a graduate student and freshman proctor at Harvard, he conducted a study of over 1600 top performing students to attempt to determine the predictors of their success. The patterns that emerged were then distilled to form The Seven Principles.
The Seven Principles:
1. The Happiness Advantage (positivity enhances our brains)
2. The Fulcrum and the Lever (proper mindset)
3. The Tetris Effect (positive pattern recognition)
4. Falling Up (coping skills)
5. The Zorro Circle (focus small)
6. The 20-Second Rule (energy management)
7. Social Investment (support network)
It is amazing the universality of the Seven Principles. The findings of this new science of happiness can be readily applied in the corporate world, to your health, friendships, creative pursuits, and more.
According to Achor, using the techniques outlined in the Seven Principles helps to buffer against stress, negativity and anxiety, and increase life satisfaction, resiliency and achievement. And Achor gives us plenty of case studies to demonstrate the effects of his findings with his numerous corporate and educational clients.
VERDICT: Achor delves into the relatively new research and discoveries in the field of positive psychology and neuroscience to provide realistic, practical strategies you can use to improve your work and life.
More Reading on Positive Psychology/Happiness: