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The happiness Advantage

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The Happiness Advantage
Shawn Achor
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The Happiness Advantage


Shawn Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage: The seven principles that fuel success and performance at work provides, as noted in the title, seven guidelines towards a happier life. These seven principles are based on a factual truth that is shown through Achor’s study at Harvard University. The study shows us that what has been taught about happiness and success through most of our lives is in truth incoherent. Many believe that to be happy you first must be successful, but Achor’s study shows that it is the contrary. What fuels work performance is in fact happiness, and for that reason, happiness must always be brought first. From the results of the study, he was also capable of separating seven principles that will guide towards a more fulfilled life.



The Happiness Advantage

Happiness is the stone leg of every realm of life, family, work, health… For happiness to uprise in life we must acknowledge it, we must be grateful of things, and appreciate what we have and just by altering our mentality, we enable ourselves to be happier. This is not just a pretense but an actual scientific truth, brains can develop through emotions and actions, and this is a huge advantage in personal growth


The most fortunate and wealthy people on this earth do not see success as a way to happiness. They acknowledge that happiness is not a reward or a luxury, they enfold the praises they get and surround themselves with optimism. Even the smallest deeds that cause happiness can give a person the upper hand. Happiness also shows that it repels negative matters, there have been studies to show that happier people are less likely to fall ill, they make better pay, and achieve better grades. Even small doses of happiness consumed frequently can increase permanent happiness levels.


The Fulcrum and the Lever


Positive psychology, having a positive mindset makes a positive outcome. Placebos are a great example of positive psychology; thinking that they will work most commonly leads to them working. Thinking pessimistically can cause a negative outcome because predictions and mindset cause actions that in a way mold reality to prove our foretelling correct. Just believing that motivation can be boosted, makes it easier to accomplish goals. “Beliefs are so powerful because they dictate our efforts and actions”- Achor



The Tetris Effect


Acts and doings on a daily basis create habits and patterns which affect the way of seeing things. Work takes one-third of the time in a day, the things we are doing at our job also affect the way we do things in other parts of our life. A teacher whose job is to teach kids and tend to their learning can be seen using the same methods that they use at work in their household. They can unseeingly be talking to their partner the same way they talk to the children in their class. These types of discreet elements that we engage in ourselves can be either positive or negative.


Falling up


The most successful people and companies see failure as an opportunity, not an endpoint. Learning from our mistakes gives us a chance to do better. When things do not go as planned try to find the positive in it. Consider an alternative scenario, not what could have been avoided but what could have been worse. The people who tend to see things this way turn the situation into a positive outcome and rise from defeat.


The Zorro Circle


Have you ever felt that you have taken too big of a bite than you can handle? Many of us make new year’s resolutions every year, but after a few weeks, the goals that have been set seem to become too troublesome to withstand. The most common reason for this is not the lack of motivation but trying to make all of it happen at once. The term Zorro Circle comes from the movie, where young Zorro wants to become a hero of the citizens and tries to do it all in one go but ends up failing. As an adult, Zorro meets a man who sees the potential in him and starts training him to become the hero he has always wanted to be. The man starts teaching Zorro step by step to become the hero, and that tests Zorro’s patience since he does not see the value of advancing gradually. But he soon learns that if he wants to achieve his goal, he has to take it in small portions to perfect his conquest.


The 20-second rule


All of us have stand amid deciding whether we flop on the couch and binge Netflix or read the book that we have longed to read for months. The debate always ends the same and we take the remote control into our hands and flounder to the couch. The 20-second rule helps to turn those debates around by tricking the human brain. Humans have evolved to become exceedingly lazy and that is what this trick is based on. If you have an objective you want to accomplish, you must make it such that in 20 seconds or less you can enact that. For instance, in the scenario above, your goal being wanting to read a book. By taking the battery out of the controller and hiding them and in addition putting the book next to the couch. That way you have hindered outing the tv on and because of human nature taking the easiest path will be the most likely, you will end up reading the book.


Social Investment


When emerged in a crisis or stress people tend to dismiss all social contacts and curl themselves into a nest. Being confronted by an obstacle favoring our thoughts and doings and not wanting to be interrupted is normal. Whether it is for our own or other people’s sake. However, that is the most destructive thing that the person could have done. People are what keep us going, they are what make us happy and fill us with positivity. By taking all that away from us there is not much left.



By following these seven principles, happiness can be grown and adjusted. Taking small steps will enable us to reach our goals and achievements. Just by remembering to adapt these guidelines and doing them. Just knowing what to do does not make a difference, that needs actions. And only that will make a change.



Achor, S.2010. The Happines Advantage. The seven principles that fuel success and performance at work.

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