The Happiness Advantage: A Book Review

The Happiness Advantage: A Book Review

November 17, 2018 0 By Juliet Elizabeth Petersen

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Hey friend! I recently finished the book The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life by Shawn Achor and it was excellent. I highly recommend buying a copy for yourself!

Instead of focusing on the universe being some huge genie that will make all of your dreams come true, The Happiness Advantage uses actual studies and data to back up the claim that happiness can improve your life experiences.

Achor writes in a down to earth style explaining that yes it’s important to push the limits of what you believe you can do, but also within reason. He provides seven principles, each insightful and motivating in order to illustrate his point.

The Seven Principles of The Happiness Advantage

  1. The Happiness Advantage
  2. The Fulcrum and the Lever
  3. The Tetris Effect
  4. Falling Up
  5. The Zorro Circle
  6. The 20 Second Rule
  7. Social Investment

I won’t go into detail about each principle here, but in a nutshell, each principle focuses on the fact that we can control the outcome of our lives and we can choose how we see situations in order to get the best outcome for ourselves. He explains each in a clear format and uses stories and scientific research to back up his claims.

Highlights from The Happiness Advantage:


“We do not know the limits of human potential” (30).

“The best judge of how happy you are is you” (39).

“Beliefs can actually change the concrete results of our efforts and our work” (70).

“The more you believe in your own ability to succeed, the more likely it is that you will” (74).

“It’s not the adversity itself, but what we do with it that determines our fate” (118).

“The best leaders are the ones who show their true colors not during the banner years, but during such times of struggle” (120).


“When the challenges we face are particularly challenging and the payoff remains far away, setting smaller, more manageable goals helps us build our confidence and celebrate our forward progress, and keeps us committed to the task at hand” (139).

“When we encounter an unexpected challenge or threat, the only way to save ourselves is to hold on tight to the people around us and not let go” (173).

“People in positive moods are better able to think creatively and logically, and to engage in complex problem solving, even be better negotiators” (208).

“Success actually revolves around happiness, not the other way around” (210).

All in all, I really enjoyed reading Achor’s book. It’s presented in an uplifting style with a happy yellow cover on the front. I highly recommend getting a copy for yourself.

Thanks again for reading! Do you have any motivational books you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Achor, Shawn. The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life. New York: Currency, 2010. Print