The Happiness Advantage…..

The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuels Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor (published September 2010) turns the idea of how to get happy upside down.  Most of us have, at some point, bought into conventional wisdom that says work hard, set and achieve goals, do more, do more again and then you’ll be happy – some day out there somewhere.  Mr. Achor asks us to consider thinking about this the other way around – and he offers some impressive studies to back him up.  He posits that happy people are better and more successful at whatever they attempt and accomplish.  And the way to happiness simply requires some good self-care and a change in thinking.  The changes don’t have to be big and dramatic.  Even small adjustments, apparently, yield big dividends.  One study Achor sites involves giving a candy gift to a control group of doctors and asking them to make a diagnosis based on information given.  For reasons Achor explains at length, the candy recipients (they were NOT permitted to actually eat the candy prior to the experiment, eliminating the sugar-rush hypothesis) had enough of a “happy boost” to enable them to think faster and with more flexibility, thus rendering more accurate diagnoses faster.  More on this fascinating book next post.

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