The Happiness Advantage: Shaun Achor
Happy People Make More Money
We've been brought up to believe that if we're successful then we'll be happy – and that success could be losing weight, securing a promotion, buying a house … In fact, as Shaun Achor proves, it's actually happiness which fuels success (think the sun moving around the Earth and not the other way around). When we're positive, we're more creative, more motivated and more resilient. We have more energy and we get on better in all areas of our life. This book is the result of Shaun's studies over 10 years at Harvard University, plus lots of his own research with the likes of KPMG and UPS. The Happiness Advantage can be yours he tells us, and can help you gain a competitive advantage …
A recent Guardian article reported that "people who are happier at work are more productive – they are more engaged, more creative, and have better concentration. 10% for non-complex repetitive tasks, or up to 40-50% in service and creative industries. " And that's an awful lot in terms of business revenue.
Sounds simple, but our minds are * the * most powerful machine, and we have absolute control over how we see the world and which opportunities we choose to take. Best of all, it's also within our power to change our mindset and window on the world. Even something as simple as completing a gratitude list every day can make you happier, help you see the good in every day.
Pearls of Wisdom
There are seven principals so I'll focus on those:
People who are happy have a psychological advantage over people who are unhappy and Shaun proves this through studies over time. Photo Freshmen who were empirically shown to be happy had a higher income 19 years later than their unhappy classmates
The Fulcrum and the Lever talks about the power of the mindset, and comes from the ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes who said, "Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world." The fulcrum is the mindset of the person, and the length of the lever corresponds to the potential power and possibility that person believes he or she has. If someone moves the fulcrum in the right direction by adopting a more positive mindset, the lever of potential lengthens, which leads, as empirical studies have shown conclusively, to an eventual positive outcome
The Tetris Effect focuses on a study done on students who were paid to just play Tetris for days on end. Their minds started seeing the real world in Tetris terms, trying to 'fit' buildings into each other. Shaun also talked about the negative power of things like GTA when he had to stop himself stealing a police car … This principle shows how to retrain your brain to spot patterns of potential rather than patterns of failure
Falling Up looks not at avoiding mistakes, but doing even more than learning from them – throwing yourself into them. It's focused on how you can find the mental path out of failure
The Zorro Circle focuses on how, in the face of even overwhelming odds, you can fight off your emotions and regain control by beginning with small manageable goals. Shaun says that big goals can be too scary, and that you need to break them down into more manageable chunks sometimes
The 20-Second Rule looks at how to fight off the weakening willpower to be positive, and how you actually only need to maintain your focus for short bursts. What's easy to do is also easy not to do. Want to break a 'bad' habit? Make it difficult to access that habit – so, take the batteries out of the TV remote and leave them over the other side of the room if you want to cut down on your viewing. Equally, if you want to start keeping a journal, do not put it away in a cupboard, even one near, leave it right next to your bed with a pen on top
Social Investment focuses on how to invest in friends, peers and family members to move forward in challenging times, and how we each have the potential to positively influence 100 people every time we choose to be happy
Absolutely! The structure's a little loose and I had to revisit it to pick up the seven points, but the narrative is great, the examples are awesome and it's an easy, positive and inspiring read /
More money means you can do even more things to make you happy 🙂