Book Review: The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

The corporation that I work for had a division meeting the week before the 4th of July. We have four of these meetings where managers, like myself, get invited to another city to sit around and talk about what problems have come up and how the company and our division are doing as a whole. Most times we have a few vendors in to talk about new product and try to drum up some business. It also allows them to talk about what new projects they have worked on and show how they can help us all save money.

I was surprised at our last meeting when our Division Manager brought up a book that he had bought at an airport and wanted all of us to read. He brought out a copy of The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor and talked about how this book could make our teams work in a more productive manner. Me personally, I was skeptical. First off, reading about happiness isn’t normally something I would do and I didn’t see how it could effect the great working relationship I already have with my co-workers. But both were easily proven wrong after I got into the book.

Achor breaks down the book into seven major principles that play on each other to increase the happiness of yourself in both your work and your home life. Through his psychological studies that were conducted at Harvard by himself and other psychologists, Achor was able to pin down what he felt was the perfect recipe for happiness. Achor shows through hard scientific study and his own personal experiences, what works and what doesn’t. I was amazed at the studies that were conducted that shows what effect the brain has on your demeanor and your productivity.

Achor does an excellent job of combining hard scientific studies into the book without making it confusing or a boring read. There are some points that can drag on and occasionally he seems to be showing the same material twice, but he quickly explains how it plays into the overall concept and shows how each of the principles will build on each other. The book overall is exciting as you learn how simple little changes in your day to day life will create a better environment for yourself and your co-workers. I personally look forward to using some of the concepts presented in the book to create a more positive outlook towards my writing. I would recommend The Happiness Advantage to everyone, no matter the career.

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