Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book Review: "The Happiness Advantage" (Shawn Achor)

If you believe that you'll finally achieve happiness in this life when you've ... (fill in the blank: found the right career, gone to the right college, married the right person, worked enough hours) ... you aren't alone. In fact, the vast majority of us believe that happiness follows ideal and idyllic circumstances.

Welcome psychologist Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, to the stage. His book completely upends the aforementioned assumption. Instead, he posits that happiness, the focus of the relatively new field of positive psychology, precedes our achieving all the other goals and desires we have in life.

Just the premise of the work fascinated me when I picked it up to read. Indeed, Achor knows whereof he speaks, as a man with authority and expert knowledge on the topic. He moves swiftly through the seven principles he contends contribute to the attainment of our ideal life circumstances.

Each of those principles is well-researched and presented in everyday language in a conversational style that makes the information given seem that much more possible to understand and implement, regardless of your chosen career or interests.

Such principles include "The Tetris Effect," whereby the brain can be trained to look at situations from various angles and "capitalize on possibility" (87). Another is the "The 20-Second Rule," which has to do with the process of transforming bad habits into better, more productive or healthier habits by reducing and even eliminating the typical obstacles that stand in the way of making changes.

What is so intriguing about the premise of the book is that the field of positive psychology is still young and growing. The content of the book is revolutionary enough, and easily applicable enough, to warrant personal study and widespread use. I've found innumerable points to implement in my own life as means with which to tackle my work routines and processes, to get where I most want to go.

I can only recommend that you pick up the work and see its potential applicability in your life for yourself.

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Author: Shawn Achor
Title: The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work
ISBN: 978-0-307-59154-8
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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