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Book Review: The Happiness Advantage

We all need to work in order to pay the bills and live the life we want, yet very few people are able to find a job that truly makes them happy. The very idea of going out to work is one that is very much counter to the dreams of the average person, so it almost stands to reason that a certain level of unhappiness should be par for the course. It doesn’t have to be that way though, that is if you believe the contents of author Shawn Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work.

The idea that fueled the book is based on the theory that we have all been working in reverse our entire lives. In short, most of us try to find that perfect job, partner, and home that will make us happy for the best part of our lives. Mr. Achor believes that in fact the opposite is true and that it’s not until we are truly happy that everything else will fall into place. To prove this theory the author introduces seven principles based on positive psychology that he believes can turn around the life of the average person once they are put into play.

Before you get to thinking that this is just another boring self-help book that rehashes a number of old methods, you really should take the time to start drinking Achor’s happiness Kool-Aid. The author not only delivers his arguments in a way that perfectly gets his point across, but also in a style that is both entertaining, and at times laugh out loud funny. “The Happiness Advantage” is not simply a collection of ideas put together in a hasty manner, and is in fact the result of over a decade’s worth of research performed by the author during his time lecturing at Harvard.

The book is so well written and almost anti-business that you will find yourself very quickly engrossed and willing to invest in the information being provided. That Achor is able to deliver on what the title promises without leaving the reader bored out of his mind is a testament to the fact that his research may indeed have some real validity. Reading the book makes you feel good, which in turn leads you to want to turn the page to see what’s next. That is the perfect example of what the 7 principles can do for your life, with happiness indeed leading to you wanting to do more.

Reading “The Happiness Advantage” is not likely to change your fortunes overnight, but it does deliver enough solid information to get you on the right path to do so. What you may quickly discover is that there are positive elements of your job and your life that have become mired in the negative. Being able to recognize the good things and focus on those will start you down the path to happiness and success and will truly give you a happiness advantage.

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