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Shawn Achor Excerpt: The Happiness Advantage


My very first introduction to Shawn Achor was his TEDx Talk: The Happy Secret to Better Work.  He was delightful, funny and brilliant.  As I write this I’m listening to it again – he’s mesmerizing.  Buying his book “The Happiness Advantage” was a no-brainer for me.

One page summarized both the book and his work, and why I want to recommend you pick it up.  This is page 24 of the soft-cover edition:



Raising Performance, Not Delusion

“Grounded in two decades of research that has revolutionized the field of psychology, and further shaped by my own study of the science of happiness and success, the principles that form the core of this book have also been field-tested and refined through my work with everyone from global financiers to grade-schoolers, surgeons to attorneys, accountants to UN ambassadors. In essence, they are a set of tools that anyone, no matter their profession or calling, can use to achieve more every day. The best part about them is that they don’t only work in a business setting. They can help you overcome obstacles, reverse bad habits, become more efficient and productive, make the most of opportunities, and help you to conquer your most ambitious goals—in life and in work. In essence, they are a set of seven tools you can use to achieve more every day.

“Here is what they will not do. They will not tell you to paint on a happy face, use “positive thinking” to wish away your problems, or worse, to pretend your problems don’t exist. I’m not here to tell you that everything always comes up roses. If there’s anything the past few years have taught me, it’s that this view is deluded. As I once heard a managing director at a large financial institution complain: “It’s one P.M., and six times today I have heard that ‘the company has turned the corner.’ If we’ve turned the corner six times, I don’t know where we are.”

The Happiness Advantage starts at a different place. It asks us to be realistic about the present while maximizing our potential for the future. It is about learning how to cultivate the mindset and behaviors that have been empirically proven to fuel greater success and fulfillment. It is a work ethic.

Happiness is not the belief that we don’t need to change; 

it is the realization that we can.


To order your copy of Shawn’s book “The Happiness Advantage” (or any of his other books), go to Shawn’s website by clicking the link below: