The Happiness Advantage

The Happiness Advantage

The Happiness Advantage Book Summary

Seven Positive psychology principles that increase success and productivity at work. In the book The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor, many of us were raised believing that happiness is only possible if we are promoted or lose five more pounds.

The scientific evidence supports the notion that happiness is a key to success. This is not the opposite. Positive emotions are more likely to lead to greater productivity, creativity, and motivation.

Psychology Tools

This book presents seven proven positive psychology tools that achor discovered from his research. They have been shown to be effective in improving resilience, happiness, well-being, and performance for people from all walks of life.

To be happy and positive we need to train our brains. This gives you an advantage over being negative or neutral. From a scientific perspective, happiness is a state that involves positive thoughts for the future and positive actions in the present. In this book, achor uses the word happiness interchangeably with the words positivity and positive emotions. Happiness leads to better health and greater achievement.

Positive emotions are the first to release dopamine, and serotonin and improve learning ability. They also improve peripheral vision so that we can see more around us. Students and young children who feel happy perform better on tests and learning tasks than those who feel neutral or negative.

People who are positive will have more ideas than people who feel negative. Positive emotions can also improve your ability to think of new solutions. If you are preparing for a stressful exam or presentation, you can focus on something that makes you feel happy.

Happier people live longer, and happier employees take fewer sick days per year. We all have different happiness levels. This means that some people are naturally happier than other people. However, these seven proven techniques can help you boost your short-term happiness and increase your happiness over time.

7 Proven Techniques of The Happiness Advantage

First, meditate for five minutes each day. This simple practice can lower stress and increase happiness over time. Second, look forward to a reward such as a vacation or a movie. The anticipation alone can make you happy so that you are as happy as the actual reward

Third, do five acts of kindness every day. For example, giving to strangers or friends. Every act of kindness will not only improves mental health but also reduce stress level. Fourth, surround your workplace with positive images of loved ones. Go for a walk in the evening and try not to watch negative things on TV, mobile or on the computer.

Next exercise, no matter if it’s biking or walking, releases endorphins that reduce stress and boost motivation. The happiness advantage can also be used to motivate your team and unlock staff potential by using small gestures such as encouraging or praising them.

By offering recreational opportunities, you can promote positive emotions. Google provides scooters and video games for its employees, while Toyota offers strength-based training. Leaders who lead with the happiness benefit have huge ripple effects. They have a positive influence on the company’s culture and policies and are role models.

How to Keep Staff Motivated

Staff morale and performance can be affected by a message that is delivered in an angry, annoyed, or indifferent tone. Martial Losada discovered this: For an organization to function well, there must be at least three positive interactions per negative interaction. Performance suffers when the Losada line falls below three to one positive interaction. If there are no interactions that could be considered negative, the ideal ratio is three to one.

Six to one principle number 2 changes your outcomes with your lever and fulcrum. Archimedes, a mathematician and scientist, believed that a man could move the entire world by using a long lever and a fulcrum. Your mind set is similar to your lever while your belief is similar to your fulcrum. You can change your outlook and believe in the possibilities by changing your beliefs.

Your ability to achieve what seems impossible can be magnified. Reality is not fixed. It’s just your perception of it. You can change the view by changing the mindset/perception. Positive mindsets lead to more productivity and energy.

Positive mind sets

People with positive mindsets may find meaning in mundane activities by trying harder or learning something. They also use their leisure time to recharge themselves and enrich themselves. Those with negative mindsets tend to drag themselves through work and view leisure activities as a waste. Your mindset can have a profound effect on how you perceive the world.

In an experiment, a group made up of 75-year-old men was asked to dress and act as if they had traveled back to 1955. After just one week, most men saw a significant improvement in their physical appearance, strength, eyesight, and mental abilities. Plague treatments were found to be as effective as real medications or treatments at 55-60 percent.

Even though they received placebo drugs and fake surgery, people experienced hair growth and decreased knee swelling. Your beliefs about yourself and your abilities can also influence your ability to achieve your goals. The belief system of accountants predicts your job performance better than your skill level. Women who were told that they had superior math skills performed better than women who were told that they were inferior.

You’ll have better abilities when you concentrate on your strengths and the reasons why you’ll succeed. Carol Dweck also found that people who have a growth mindset outperform people who have a fixed mindset. The belief that skills and temperaments can be improved leads people to take every opportunity to improve their abilities, while those who believe they cannot change are forced to let go.

The Happiness Advantage 7 principles

The Happiness Advantage

Your Mindset can make or break opportunities

Your mindset can make or break opportunities. People who view their work as a calling and a way to give back meaningfully are more likely than others to work harder and longer, increasing their chances of success. People who see work as a job to get a paycheck to end up feeling demotivated and unhappy.

Thinking is more important than your designation. Instead of writing a job description, try creating a calling description that describes the meaning of your work and how it can help you achieve your larger goals. Teachers were told by an experiment that certain students had greater academic potential when they were just beginning to teach.

Because of the high expectations set by their teachers, ordinary students had better results than others. Leaders can also influence their staff positively by showing faith and encouraging them instead of doubt and cynicism.

Words and actions can create a positive Tetris effect. This is the third principle of Tetris. Too much focus on anything can change the behavior, mental capacity, and thoughts. The name was inspired by the phenomenon where people saw their world in Tetris blocks. Your brain can be trained to see possibilities and positive patterns.

Focus on Opportunities

Opportunities, not failures. Your brain naturally filters out 99 percent of environmental inputs. Depending on what focus you set it to focus on, we can become oblivious even to things right in front of our eyes. In a famous experiment, people were asked to count how many times white was used.

The ball was passed in a basketball match and the team was so focused on the ball that 46 percent failed to notice the person walking across the screen in a gorilla outfit for five seconds. However, when we are focused on something we tend to see it everywhere. If you buy a certain car model, it might be obvious everywhere.

You can reprogram your brain so that it can think positively and can benefit your life. Tax auditors who spend hours looking for errors tend to focus on the mistakes of their spouses and children. Financial traders can’t help but see the risks in all situations, while athletes can’t stop competing with others.

We asked two groups of people how many photos they saw in the newspapers. The group that thought they have luckily completed the task quickly because they saw at least one message telling them they could stop the others who believed they weren’t.

Chances are that you will be more likely to seize the opportunity. This positive Tetris effect is achieved by training your brain and encouraging it to seek out opportunities and ideas that will increase your success. Every day, write down three positive things about your work and life. For example, the friend who drives you to work.

Improve your Happiness 

This will allow your luggage to organize. It’s proven that we can improve our happiness which can last forever. You can make the exercise a daily routine by writing a lengthy daily entry about a positive experience.

Your spouse, children, or your team can do this. You cannot go blind by ignoring the negative things going around. It’s more like wearing rose-tinted glasses but not blindfolds principle #4 falls upward during crises and failures.

Seek the upward path to get out of the dumps. Studies show that people who view failure and disasters as a learning opportunity are more likely to find creative ways to recover from them. On the other side, people who stop looking for solutions to problems lose their ability to overcome them and continue to slide downwards

Companies that are focused on streamlining operations and finding new solutions during economic downturns tend to be more successful than those who concentrate on lost opportunities to find the up-path.

You might think you are unlucky to be injured, or that you are lucky to avoid more serious injuries. Always choose yours counteracts. For example, I made a mistake this week so you can learn from it. Don’t view your failures in a global way.

How to De-Catastrophize Disaster

You can de-catastrophize disaster by looking for other counteracts and taking into account the long-term effects. Principle number five: regain control with the Zorro circle. When our minds are open and willing to accept new ideas, we find the best solutions. Legend has it that the masked hero, Zorro, can help us in times of crisis.

Practice in a small circle to learn the sword. Our circle of control is symbolized by the Zorro. When things get out of control, refocus on smaller goals and then expand your circle, by this you can regain the control you lost and can gain back the confidence and better your position. Our brain has both an emotional center that triggers our instinctive reactions and a logic center which rationalizes them.

How to control your emotions

There were many options before you acted in the caveman age. If you were faced with a lion, you would have no time to think about your options. The hormones flooding your body will trigger a fight or flight response to ensure your survival. We rarely face such life-threatening dangers but when we have stressed out our involuntary biological reactions take control and we become emotionally hijacked

This can lead to anger, rage, and confusion and you will also lose your control. When you feel in control of your destiny and outcome you are more likely to be happy, less stressed, and more motivated.

The mortality rates fell by 50%. The key to control is to take control of your emotions one at a time. This will reduce the negative emotions and gives you more control over yourself. Next, list out the aspects you can control. Next, choose one small goal you can achieve.

Focus on one thing at a time

Focusing your efforts and energy on one task will increase your success rate. You can also gain confidence and control by expanding your circle. Principle number six: Change your habits with the 20-second rule. It’s not easy to change old habits.

You can create lasting change by following the path of least resistance. We are all creatures of habit. Most of our daily actions, from dressing ourselves to brushing our teeth, are routines that we don’t think about. The best way to sustain positive changes is to make the desired behavior an automatic habit every time you do it.

The brain produces electrical currents that can reach billions of neurons. When you do something consistently, it reinforces certain neural pathways. It’s the nature of humans that the flow of current which travels faster will become the second nature.

When you are trying to force yourself to do something different or new, it is better to focus on your eyes and not the top or bottom shelves. The best way to make new habits is to place the desired habit on the path that offers the least resistance. This will allow you to add 20 seconds to the habit you wish to change and decrease the effort required to create the new one.

For example, if you want to stop eating chocolates, place them in a container on the upper shelf. To watch less television, place fresh nuts on your kitchen counter.

You’ll be more likely to take it home if you have a set of rules. This will reduce the chance that you’ll make a wrong decision and increase your chances of picking it up. Principle number seven: Invest in social support during times when you are stressed or in times where you need it. We are more likely to be isolated from our family and friends, and to bury our heads in our work.

Social Support

Social support is a great investment. It is one of the most reliable predictors of happiness and success. Positive social interactions improve happiness, focus, and mood. They also increase oxytocin which is a pleasure-inducing hormonal that reduces stress and improves focus. By improving our social care our immune system cardiovascular, and neuroendocrine will improve.

But, life expectancy can be affected by a lack of social support. To build your social capital and make high-quality connections, greet colleagues with eye contact. Also remember things about them such as their interests or their names.

You should respond with enthusiasm and interest. That’s great news! When will your promotion take place? Passive responses such as that’s cool, or negative responses such as “Oh, I thought that promotion would go to Ben” can be detrimental. The worst thing is life is neglecting the good things and concentrating on the wrong things.

Strong relationships between employees and their managers lead to better performance and a longer stay. As a leader, you can build personal connections and foster social relationships. This will allow employees from different departments to interact and connect. Recognize people’s contributions beyond the formal work title

People’s interests and hobbies are important. They allow people to have full attention and move about for face-to-face interactions. For example, Google provides cafes for employees to interact with one another and encourages them to visit their children at the on-site daycare. It also encourages truck drivers to meet up for lunch to create a positive ripple effect.


The seven principles that unlock happiness are now explained. These principles will create a favorable causal sequence. Nerve cells in our brains sense and also mimic other individuals’ feelings and also actions. When you smile genuinely, the other person can only help but reflect it back to them.

Positive feelings from yourself. This mirror effect can have a powerful impact on the dynamics of a group. In fact, our actions and attitudes are so contagious that they can affect three levels of influence. For example, if you make a positive impression on your child, you will also indirectly impact their friends and their parents.

You’ll not only improve your happiness and performance, but also the lives of many others. The book achor provides examples and empirical research to help us understand how the seven principles of positive psychology are developed and applied.

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