The Happiness Advantage

Author Shawn Achor used to suffer from depression. His book proves we can fashion happiness for ourselves. First we need to understand how it works and Achor supplies 7 principles:

  1. The Happiness Advantage: happiness is a work ethic and there are specific exercises you can do to boost your happiness:
  • Meditate
  • Find something to look forward to
  • Commit conscious pre-determined acts of kindness
  • Infuse positivity into your surroundings
  • Exercise
  • Spend money on experiences
  • Exercise a signature strength
  1. The Fulcrum and the Lever: use your beliefs determine your future
  2. The Tetris Effect: scan the world for the best not the worst and maintain an attitude of healthy optimism
  3. Falling Up: make the best out of things that happen, resist believing in the futility of your own action, adopt a positive explanatory style of past events by practicing your ABCDs: Adversity (happens), Belief (explains), Consequence (from belief), and Disputation (is there another way to look at it.)
  4. The Zorro Circle: limit your focus to small manageable goals and expand your sphere of influence from there, believe in your locus of control even over something so small as caring for a house plant. At work concentrate your efforts on small areas where you know you can make a difference. Make a list of things in your control and things not. Work on those you can control.
  5. The 20 second Rule: willpower weakens the more we use it so put the desired activity on the path of least resistance so that you can start it in less than 20 seconds. For example, sleep in your jogging clothes. If you want to watch less TV, make it take more than 20 seconds to get to the remote.
  6. Social Investment: in the midst of challenges hold on tight to the people around us. Our relationships with other people matter more than anything else in the world. Our social support protects us from a brutal sack.


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