Last week I listened to The Happiness Advantage By Shawn Achor. First, I’m really proud, I upped my listening speed to 1 3/4 and managed to retain most of Shawn’s great principles. Second, I think the book changed my life, or at least came into it at the right time.
There’s already a great Summary Of The 7 Happiness Principles from Shawn’s book but I want to keep some notes for me as this is a book and a post I will keep coming back to…
- Happiness Leads To Success — not the other way around.
- A Positive Mindset Is Powerful — find the good to overcome the difficult.
- Practice Makes Perfect —train your brain to be happy through daily acts.
- Fall Up — there is succeed, fail… and improve. That last one is also good.
- Zorro Effect — master your circle, then act outwards.
- Willpower Is Limited —save your energy for the important decisions.
- Social Circles — In times of crisis, do not withdraw, connect more.
I loved how Shawn covered each of these with psychology facts, experiments, and real world examples. He exuded an interest and excitement I found genuine and easy to listen to. It’s one of those books that truly focuses on being a more happy human from within.
After reading it, I spent time reflecting on everything from my career, my family, my friendships, and my future. Each of Shawn’s principles directly resonated with past events. Sometimes I used the principles without even knowing it, sometimes, in hind sight, I wish I had known about them sooner. The first principle, happiness leads to success, was probably the most eye opening. I fundamentally understood it but somehow I understand what Shawn means in a way I didn’t before.
Going forward I plan to be more conscious of each of these principles and do things every day to truly be happy from within. For example writing more about happiness and being thankful for the positive things in my life every morning. Its a marathon not a sprint but I’m looking forward to growing.
If you’re like me and love understanding how things work, this book is a wonderful analysis of happiness for the analytical mind.