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The Happiness Advantage

The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work

Shawn Achor

A brilliant book about “the science of happiness”: why we should capitalize on happiness, how progressive shifts in our mindset turns our hidden potentials into considerable power, then success. Upon finishing the book, I realized that psychological secrets of how to take advantage of mankind potential power lies in tricking the natural defense mechanism that keeps us-human survive until now. The Tetris Effect, the most interesting concept I found in the book, explains our outstanding capability at scanning the surrounding environment for negatives (annoyances, stresses, and hassles) since we for a long time have always been rewarded for spotting the problems to solve, stresses to handle and injustice to fix. We becoming who we are today is critically attributed to our strive for improvement and spotting the negatives. Shawn takes examples of tax auditors and lawyers whose job is to constantly look for flaws in arguments finding themselves treating their children in the same way at home. Why are they spreading the negativity even outside of their workpalce? Well it is natural. His suggestions to break this pattern of noticing the bad and moderate it to other direction of finding the positive things around us is the most impactful to me. I feel free from tension and anxiety thanks to his proposed educated routines: learning to notice good things happening around me, jotting down three positives I feel grateful every night. Small bonus: I highly recommend you to read Factfulness by Hans Rosling along with this book so that you could realize how lucky you are on this planet.


It seems like I have disclosed some contents (*smile). I think, however, changing habits demand not only the right-brain power - to train your positive thinking, but also the left brain power - to make sense of the science behind the tricks. That is probably the most meaningful valuables the book has.


In short, I think Shawn’s book (briefly encapsulates his original researches while links to some well-known others) on specific studies of happiness is in-depth and comprehensive. I think I would recommend this book to my younger sister who is currently terrified by all kinds of test on the verge of university entrance.

Summer 2019

May 14, 2019 at 3:00:00 PM


psychology, science


The Happiness Advantage
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