In his international best seller, The Happiness Advantage, Harvard-trained researcher Shawn Achor described why happiness is the precursor to greater success. This book is about what comes before both. Because before we can be happy or successful, we need to first develop the ability to see that positive change is possible. Only once we learn to see the world through a more positive lens can we summon all our motivation, emotion, and intelligence to achieve our personal and professional goals.
In Before Happiness, Achor reveals five actionable, proven strategies for changing our lens to positive:
By mastering these strategies, you’ll create a renewable source of positivity, motivation, and engagement that will allow you to reach your fullest potential in everything you do.
©2013 Shawn Achor (P)2013 Random House Audio
In this remarkable book, one of the leading thinkers in the field of positive psychology digs deep into the science to find practical techniques for unleashing your genius for happiness. So forget about cheap gimmicks and gooey affirmations. Instead, listen to Shawn Achor -- and prepare to take notes!"
-- Daniel H. Pink, author of DRIVE, TO SELL IS HUMAN, and A WHOLE NEW MIND
“Shawn Achor, one of our greatest positive psychologists for the workplace, has done it again. With his characteristic blend of academic rigor and twinkle in the eye, Achor will change your view of happiness, of reality -- and of yourself.”
--Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author of QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Before Happiness is the book that positive psychology fans have been waiting to read. Shawn Achor, the leading light in bringing the science of happiness to work, offers his signature blend of eye-opening research insights, entertaining stories, and infectious enthusiasm. This fresh, uplifting book is filled with ideas for improving our organizations and our lives.
-Adam Grant, Wharton professor and bestselling author of Give and Take
"Shawn Achor is a positive genius who is capable of taking complex academic research and making it come to life in companies and schools across the globe."
-Tony Hsieh, bestselling author of Delivering Happiness and CEO of Zappos.com, Inc.
In Before Happiness, Shawn Achor provides simple, scientifically sound strategies built around three key factors most of us undervalue: where we choose to put our attention, how much social support we build into our lives, and whether we view stress as a challenge rather than a threat.
--Tony Schwartz, best-selling author of The Power of Full Engagement and Be Excellent at Anything
“Read this book before you buy any other self-improvement title. For anyone who wants to find more meaning, achievement, and joy in life, this is the single best place to start."
-Tom Rath, Bestselling author of StrengthsFinder 2.0 and Eat Move Sleep
From the Hardcover edition.
Lots of great insights and practical tips to help us lead better, more positive and influential lives. One of the better personal development books I have read (or listened to!)
"Every young person should be given a free copy"
This is an absolute gem of a book - and unlike so much of the self-help literature, contains enough conceptualisation, reflection and recommendation for readers to emerge from listening with some clear, sensible and valuable ideas on how to address the challenges they face. Like his college professor, Brian Little, Shawn Achor has written a book borne of a brimming love of the human condition and the opportunities it holds for each of us. Having explored a number of online resources about Shawn, I have recommended him warmly to friends and family. If you have a spare credit on your account and you haven't read this book already, make it your next purchase - it's a treat, and potentially a life-changing one for many! :-)
"Worthwhile but no "Happiness Advantage""
If you liked "The Happiness Advantage", you'll enjoy this book. It helps add more dimension to the happiness/positive-psychology picture, doesn't seem as complete or focused as THA. As expected, Achor does balances theory, research and technique quite well, but I found THA more engaging. I also missed having Achor read the audio book.
"Great content; Narrator is pretty bad"
I would definitely get another book from Shawn Achor, but the narrator really detracts from the audiobook. His tone is really dry and disengaging, and apparently he doesn't know anything about delivering a joke.
I'd still say this was worth the listening time, and I have gone back, added bookmarks and written down suggestions from the audiobook. I did get a digital copy of the book as well to have on hand for reference material. There are tons of practical tips in here for working through tricky or stressful situations. The map making exercise was really insightful into where I am most emotionally connected in my life.
One comment that I have is maybe toning down the voice of the narrator, too high of a tone sometimes makes it hard to listen especially in loud places on higher volume.
"NOT read by Shawn Achor"
I have been a fan of Shawn Achor--his Ted talks, previous book, and listened to it as an audiobook. I did not read the details carefully, This book is narrated by a dry speaker who turns Shawn's personal anecdotes and research into boring and un-engaging listening. Shawn is a dynamic speaker, who shares his passion with ease and brings his stories to life as he narrates his previous book. I am hopeful that he will narrate this book at a later time. I'm returning my Audible "copy."
"What about non-business folks?"
I enjoyed this book and it gave me new ideas on how to incorporate more happiness into my life. However, I don't know if the actual book would have been better than listening. Some of it left me wondering what it was or how to apply it. We're their figures or examples for success mapping? Honestly I hope Shawn Achor addresses other groups of people in his writing at some point. I understand that his focus is businesses and organizations but I'd like more examples of how to apply this to life outside the office! Some people are housewives, living in situations like care facilities, or have disabilities... not everyone works in a corporation. Trying to apply business examples to life outside an office is a task... he did use weight loss as an example a couple times... but pretty much glossed over it and any other thing that didn't have to do with business. I felt like he was really only addressing business managers and leaders. Not your average worker, self employed, or humble unemployed human. Unfortunately, I am not a business person so it was a hurdle trying to figure out how I could actually use things like positive inception. Smiling at my dog works fantastic but has negative responses from my teenager!
"Foundation for a New Life"
The author hones in on the fact that a hollow goal is just lip service. His idea is that the goal must have solid roots in your conscious and especially your unconscious mind to build your positive reality.
"I prefer to hear Shawn vs Mike read the book."
I don't know. I would have to read it to know.
Based on Shawn's reading of "The Happiness Advantage" I prefer to hear Shawn vs Mike reading the book. Mike sounded OK but I much preferred Shawn's more (for lack of a better term) "playful" reading.
"NOT READ BY AUTHOR"
This book was horrible because I know what Shawn's voice sounds like. I don't want to hear someone else acting as him
"amazing book with so many practical applications"
I really enjoyed Before Happiness it's like the trainer's guide to a happy life and work place.
Inspired, enthused and encouraged is how this Before Happiness made me feel. This audibook is about how we can all move toward positive genius written by the positive genius himself. Shawn Achor has an incredible ability to breath life into research using his own and other compelling stories. He then guides us by the hand through the practical steps to create our own positive reality.
For someone with such great academic ability he is also down to earth making this material accessible to anyone with even the slightest interest in becoming happier. If you enjoyed the Happiness Advantage this book updates and makes those ideas even more powerful by revealing the mindset that makes happiness possible. The fact that every idea is linked back to solid research that you know works adds even greater credibility.
Shawn has a great sense of humour too. I was genuinely surprised to find they let kidnappers into Harvard. I’d like to hear his sister Amy’s side of some of these stories one day too I’m sure they will be quite different and revealing. Remembering some stories from the first book about video games I did wonder if this sense of humour was also responsible for releasing the audiobook in the same week as Grand Theft Auto 5. Mike Chamberlain does a good job of the narration but for the humour and emphasis on some points I'd have preferred Shawn had read this himself (but I know he's been busy inspiring many so that is only a minor point).
I place Shawn Achor's books alongside others who are challenging us to think beyond our current reality such as Daniel Pink, Malcolm Gladwell, Carol Dweck, Jim Collins, Gary Hamel, Barbara Fredrikson and Tim Harford. They all share that rare ability to see what is truly possible if we reach toward our potential and use all forms of intelligence.
I was inspired by how easily we can create a more positive reality for ourselves, enthused by the practical ideas to increase success and reduce noise and encouraged that Shawn wants us to share this research and inspire others through ‘positive inception’. This book has doubled my enthusiasm for sharing these ideas with others and to play my part in a more positive and engaged world. I'm already applying these ideas in my own life and looking forward to sharing the practical steps with many others. A must listen, thank you Shawn.
"Excellent book - very frustrating narration."
The book is fantastic. Shawn Achor has some stella ideas and the research to back them up. He has an ability to boil it all down into approachable narrative and simple steps.Unfortunately, the narrator doesn't live up to the material. The book is read with little apparent investment in the subject, seemingly trying to 'act' the narration. But this is not a fluffy novel; there are important and textural sentences here which need breath and inflection in the right places to communicate the point to the listener. It is so hard to follow because of this. Shawn narrated the first book himself and I wish he had done this one too. He may not have the most exciting speaking voice, but he is a likeable guy and his verbal commitment to the subject matter makes it so much better in my view. If you are a Shawn Achor 'fan', listen to the Happiness Advantage, but read this book yourself.
Very good book, lots of valuable tips and well written. I purchased this following the Happiness Advantage. The only disappointing point is the narrator. Whilst he does a good job his voice is slightly nasal which detracts from the book in places.
The Happiness Advantage was narrated by the author which makes a real difference. You can feel the emotion and connection in the voice and the personal belief in the message. This book came across a little 'dictated' and disconnected as the person was just reading it as a job. Don't let this detract from the content but there is a noticeable difference between how this comes across against how the happiness advantage is delivered.
Great book, probably need to relished/ get the paperback to reiterate some notes.
Full of helpful strategies
Would recommend to anyone looking to coach happiness
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