January 31: Before Happiness
Smile! #Positivity increases your chances of success. Tell us: Did you like our reading challenge?
Before Happiness by Shawn Achor (Crown, 2013).
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I was an early follower of Tal Ben-Shahar’s seminal Harvard course, Positive Psychology 1504. Shawn Achor’s, Before Happiness, offers 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success. To me the notion of ‘happiness’ trumps peace-of-mind.
In the summary, I found the reference to the Gallup study of men who lived to be 95 years old most encouraging. Despite the disappointments and challenges along the way, I get meaning from my career and find it fun. The happiest human being that I have ever known was an obese mother of eight, penniless and in ever declining health. Despite these seemingly overwhelming challenges, she had the remarkable ability of making everyone around her a happier/better person. She touched me and others, in ways that few have since. I believe the secret to her success was that she nurtured her own happiness and always saw the best in everything and everyone. While academic in nature, I found this summary informative and novel in its approach. I often need to remind myself to focus on the positive and to be grateful for the happiness that I have in my life. This was a good read, if for no other reason than it reminded me of another person who impacted and influenced my life in such a positive way. A gentle reminder that it is important to practice happiness by not letting other people rent space in my head nor live in the dogma of others dreams.
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