Check Out Our Advertisers!
     None  Accounting/Bookkeeping
     None  Art Galleries
     None  Attorney - Lawyer
     None  Auto
     None  Automotive Dealerships
     None  Aviation
     None  Banks and Credit Unions
     None  Barns and Steel Buildings
     None  Blacksmith
     None  Carpet Cleaning
     None  Carpet
     None  Chamber of Commerce
     None  Child Care
     None  Chiropractic Care
     None  Churches
     None  Clothing and Accessories
     None  Computer Services
     None  Dentist
     None  Dry Cleaning
     None  Drywall
     None  Electric utility
     None  Electrician
     None  Equine Services
     None  Equipment Rental
     None  Events/Festivals
     None  Excavating
     None  Eye Care
     None  Feed Stores
     None  Field Mowing
     None  Financial Services
     None  Fireplace Sales/Service
     None  Flooring
     None  Florist
     None  Food Products
     None  Funeral Home
     None  Hair/Nail Care and Cosmetics
     None  Health Care Facilities and Services
     None  Health Care
     None  Heating and Cooling
     None  Home Inspector
     None  Home Maintenance
     None  House Cleaning
     None  Insulation
     None  Insurance
     None  Internet Service
     None  Jewelry
     None  Landscaping
     None  Lawn Care
     None  Liquor Stores
     None  Locksmith
     None  Mortgage
     None  Orthodontist
     None  Painting - Interior/Exterior
     None  Paving/Asphalt
     None  Pet Grooming
     None  Pet Sitter
     None  Photography
     None  Plumbing
     None  Portable Buildings
     None  Propane Delivery
     None  Propane
     None  Property Management
     None  Racing - Cars
     None  Real Estate Services
     None  Restaurants
     None  Roofing
     None  Schools
     None  Senior Citizen's Services
     None  Senior Citizens Services
     None  Septic Services
     None  Sheds, Outbuildings
     None  Shipping Services
     None  Small Engine Repair
     None  Specialty/Gifts
     None  Storage
     None  Tax Preparation
     None  Tires
     None  Tractor, Trailer and RV Sales
     None  Veterinarian
     None  Window Replacement
     None  Windshield Repair
     None  Winery
     None  Woodworking

“Let us be thankful for the fools; but for them the rest of us could not succeed.”
– Mark Twain  
Contact Us | Advertise | Classified Ad | News Stands | Subscribe  

  Volume No. 15 Issue No. 4 April 2018  

None Black Forest News   None Book Review   None Business Briefs   None Community Calendar  
None Did You Know?   None FFPD Column   None FFPD News   None From the Publisher  
None Health and Wellness   None Letters to the Editor   None Marks Meanderings   None Monkey Business  
None News Briefs   None News From D 49   None People on the Plains   None Pet Care  
None Phun Photos   None Prairie Life   None Rumors  
Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In
Janice Tollini

  “The Happiness Advantage”
  By Janice Tollini

   When some of us are caught in our own storm of misfortune, we often find ourselves comparing the lives of the more fortunate people and wondering what they have that we don’t. They seemingly have it all — good health and a great job, car and house — all paid off, of course. They must be happy! But is happiness the result of success — or the instigator to success?
   The idea that happiness leads to success is what Shawn Achor proclaims in his book, “The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work.” Achor skillfully weaves his own experiences with how happiness can lead to success into scientific research, which describes how the quality of our thoughts alters the physiology of our brain.
   Achor first describes his personal discovery of the happiness advantage. He both attended and taught at Harvard, spending almost 12 years interacting daily with students. He noticed that while he held fast to his belief that being at Harvard was a gift and a privilege, many others became overwhelmed with the pressures of academic competition and success. They no longer appreciated attending a prestigious school; they became absorbed in being competitive and too worried about their future. Achor observed that the students “felt overwhelmed by every small setback instead of energized by the possibilities in front of them.”
   The students who fretted the most had poor grades. Their academic success suffered at the hands of their incessant worry.
   It was years later during a speaking tour in Africa that Achor witnessed the positive impact of appreciation. He visited a school outside of a shantytown, with no electricity or steady supply of running water. He found that the vast majority of the students spoke enthusiastically about their ability to attend school, viewing the experience as a privilege and opportunity rather than a source of drudgery and despair.
   Returning to Harvard and noticing the contrast in the attitudes of the students there, Achor realized “how much our interpretation of reality changes our experience of that reality.”
   Based on this idea, Achor’s book summarizes the data and research from the behavioral sciences that explains from a physiological perspective how happiness truly improves our performance.
   Achor describes several examples of the impact of positive emotions. In what he terms a “Broadening Effect,” positive emotions have been found to expand our range of options, our creativity and increase our recognition and use of available resources. He also describes the “Undoing Effect” in which positive emotions mediate and minimize the negative effects of stress and anxiety.
   The value of “The Happiness Advantage” lies not merely in its assertion that happiness and positive emotions increase our performance, but also in its suggestion of ways we can actually put the advantages of happiness to work in our own lives. In addition to suggesting meditation, acts of kindness, exercise, spending money on experiences — not things — and finding ways to utilize our special skills; Achor devotes a chapter to each of his seven fundamental beliefs about happiness (the first being that there are practical advantages to happiness as a state of mind).
   The Fulcrum and the Lever
   Achor suggests that it is entirely possible to change your performance by changing your mindset. He stated, “Our power to maximize our potential is based on two things: (1) the length of our lever –- how much potential power and possibility we believe we have, and (2) the position of our fulcrum –- the mindset with which we can generate the power to change.”
   The Tetris Effect
   This refers to our ability to train our brain to capitalize on opportunities and scan the environment, locating opportunities for success. In doing this, we can maximize our own personal happiness, gratitude and optimism, which, as illustrated in Principle No.1, presents us with a great advantage to succeed.
   Falling Up
   Achor pronounces the value of viewing our failures as opportunities for growth and learning, rather than as a sign of our shortcomings. He distinguishes between post-traumatic thinking versus adversarial growth.
   The Zorro Circle
   Based on the findings that one of the largest drivers of success is the belief that we can succeed, Achor prescribes focusing our energy first on those things that are under our immediate control. With each success we experience, our circle of influence and ability to affect change expands.
   The 20-Second Rule
   In what is undoubtedly my most favorite section of the book, Achor explains how to leverage human behavior in making change in our lives. He explains that our personal willpower is a finite commodity. In order to create a new habit, we are advised to put the desirable behavior on the path of least resistance; that is, to make the execution of that behavior as easy as possible while eliminating other options.
   Social Support
   Achor reminds us that social support is our single greatest asset and offers us the greatest return on our investment, so to speak. This is especially true when times are tough. He notes that there is a strong connection between the strength of our support system and our happiness.
   Shawn Achor’s writing is expressive and truly enjoyable to read. He utilizes a healthy dose of humor, at times sprinkled with a bit of self-deprecation, to keep the reader entertained rather than dutifully drudging through all the data and literature that supports his view. His examples and illustrations are spot on, as well as easily relatable to our own lives. I use the messages from this book in my work as a personal and executive coach, as well as applying them to my own life. It is well-worth the read!
Facebook print this page      

  © 2004-2018 The New Falcon Herald. All rights reserved. About | Contact | Advertise | News Stands | Privacy Policy