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The Happiness Advantage

Posted by David Greer in Business, Strategy | 7 comments

The Happiness Advantage

I recently read The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles Of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success And Performance At Work by Shawn Achor. After a decade of living, researching, and teaching at Harvard University, Achor was challenged to realize that 4 out of 5 of the thousands of Harvard students he encountered suffered from depression at least once in the school year. By definition every one of them were outstanding individuals. After all they had made it through the Harvard acceptance process.

Rather than focus on the unhappy students, Achor studied the 1 in 5 Harvard students who were truly flourishing. Based on academic and practical research in positive psychology, The Happiness Advantage provides real life case studies, tasks, and methods that you can use to apply Achor’s ideas to yourself, your team, and your organization. Using stories from his work with thousands of Fortune 500 executives in forty-two countries, Achor shows how programming the brain to be more positive results in competitive advantage.

For example, he suggests that leaders ask themselves these questions every Monday morning:

  1. Do I believe that the intelligence and skills of my employees are fixed, but can be improved with effort?
  2. Do I believe that my employees want to make that effort, just as they want to find meaning and fulfillment in their jobs?
  3. How am I conveying these beliefs in my daily words and actions?

I have been applying many of The Happiness Advantage principals in my professional and personal life with fabulous results.

Comments (7)
  1. Pingback: » Positive Every Day David J Greer's Blog

  2. Johann Gauthier says:

    Great post David!
    I am happy the book resonated with you. It did too with me as I have it on my bookshelf as well. I love how intuitive and easy-to-implement this book is. It empowers leaders to quickly shift from a state of being depleted to being energized. That is quite priceless and very useful.
    Thank you for the opportunity to engage with you.
    Blessings and appreciation.

    • David Greer says:

      Thanks on your positive comments Johann on a very positive book.

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  4. Jane says:

    I haven’t read the book, but I know I would agree with its principles. I believe happiness is self-made because we are responsible for our attitude and our reaction circumstances. We choose to be bitter or better. I’m on book overload, but I enjoyed you post and have added it to my list as a possibility.

    • David Greer says:

      Thanks Jane. Sean’s book deals with practical ways you can achieve that attitude of happiness. He noticed that only 2 in 5 students at Harvard were happy, yet every single one of them had come through one of the world’s most vigorous screening processes. That is, by most people’s definition these were super talented and special people already.

      This led him to investigate why the majority were unhappy. He focused on figuring out what people were doing to be one of the 2 in 5 who was happy. That included starting your day with exercise (including putting your running clothes and shoes right next to the bed), being grateful, meditation, and many more suggestions. It’s great to want an attitude of happiness, but there are practical things we can do that will take us there.

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