Review: Before Happiness Part 2

Before Happiness by Shawn achor

HERE is a link to the original and part 1 post about the two books and multiple talks given by Shawn Achor on Happiness. This is part 2 and it includes only a book review and some items that I pulled from his second book. This does not contain a day by day experiment like my first post, though I may return to the idea in a month to reflect on how I felt. I will go ahead and link his two youtube videos here again, so that you can watch them before diving into his non-fiction books about his scientific work. 

Before Happiness: Bookmarked Items

Before Happiness

Positive Genius Reality: Steps

Choose the most valuable reality: Multiple realities and choose a positive one.

Map your meaning markers: best route to accomplish goals. Find the X-spot: Use success accelerants to propel you forward.

Cancel the noise: Boost signals that point to greater possibilities.

Create positive inception: Amplify effects of positivity.

Irrational Optimism: Vision of reality based on desire and delusion, not how things actually are. Vision is distorted by not viewing important negatives. I.E. Not wearing a seatbelt because you believe you’ll never be in an accident.

3 skills to improve your reality:

Recognize alternative realities. Which facts do you choose to focus on, do you believe stress is positive or negative.

 Add vantage points. Change your viewpoint. A push/pull door is one or the other depending on which side you’re on.

Pursue the most valuable reality.

Positive leadership requires a 3:1 negative-to-positive ratio. This also deals with relationships, it takes 3 positive comments to negate one negative one.

Make it practical:

Make stress work for you, find out the meaning as to why it’s stressing you out. What is your personal connection to the stress.

Cross train your brain. Go to a museum to understand detail, learn something new.

Do something prosocial. The greatest buffer against depression is relationships.

Fuel your reality. Free your brain’s resources to see positive detail. Make big decisions when you’re well rested and well-fed.

 Add vantage points.

Seek diverse voices.

Remind yourself of the power of change.

Ecological Momentary Assessment: Environmental triggers can hijack anyone, including our efforts at work. An analyst never got any work done because everytime he noticed the market was down, he would go to CNN, then surf the web to forget about it. Eventually he would end up at his email and forget to do his work for an extended period of time. Hijacking happens to everyone. An example is a negative boss who tries to drive productivity through intimidation and fear.

Fundamental Attribution Error: Human tendency to judge our own behavior based on context, but to attribute others’ behavior to their character. Such as cutting someone off, you may get angry at someone else for being stupid. However, when you cut someone off you tell yourself it was because you’re tired or couldn’t see. We have to give everyone the same benefit of the doubt.

Map your goals: accelerants. Diversify your meaning portfolio. Have a daily meaning orientation. Map your life. Spot and stop highjackers. Use a treasure map. Update your map.

The Time Paradox. The more mental energy you have to exert during a period of time, the longer the period seems.

Making goals practical: 

Identify x-spots. Success is close, possible, and worthwhile.

Give yourself a head start. Design your goals with some progress worked in.

Be objective. Think of a task in units rather than effort.

Use champion moments. Times when you had success in the past.

Keep your eye on the beach, not the rocks.

Make 70% your goal. Pick something you believe you have at least a 70 % chance of success in.

Make your goals visible.

Canceling negative noise and boosting positive signals:

Recognize the signal: True and reliable information about opportunities and resources.

Stop addiction to noise: Avoid information that doesn’t help you or that you can’t fix within a day. Tragedies, unimportant meetings, most news-related items.

Cancel the internal noise. Unusable, untimely, hypothetical, and distracting.

Creating a positive reality:

Use numbers to your advantage. Spread positivity before trying to stop negativity.

Create a franchise. Find simple, emotional, and positive patterns to replicate. No-venting rule or negative interactions.

Use the power lead. The first person to speak usually sets the tone, start it.

Add three smiles a day.

Use humor.

Create a narrative. Share experiences, write out a real story.

This section was a lot shorter than the first, simply because I felt like there was a lot of repetition in this book from his previous book as well as some of the talks that I’ve watched online. I gave this book around a 3/5 out of five stars and while it does give some great ideas and examples, it wasn’t as intriguing as the first one to me. Regardless, I hope you guys enjoyed these two combined post and it encourages you to be a bit more positive, particularly at work. If you would like to discuss these books or ideas, please comment below! 

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