The Lesson: There is not a significant correlation between personal accomplishment and happiness – in fact, accomplishment often creates new stressors that result in discontentment, as it creates new goals that need to be accomplished in turn. Shawn Achor, however, examines how an incorrect system – one in which happiness is predicated on achievement – can be inverted so that when happiness, not accomplishment, is the primary focus, accomplishment naturally follows.

Notable Excerpt: “Most people follow the formula, which is if you work harder, you’re going to be successful. ‘As soon as you achieve these goals, think how happy you’re going to be’ – think how often we do that. ‘As soon as I finish this project, I’ll be happier … as soon as I get the right job, I’ll feel happier,’ but what we notice is that formula … is scientifically broken … Every time your brain has had a success in the past, what have you done? You’ve changed the goal post for what success looked like almost immediately.”

The Speaker: Shawn Achor is a New York Times bestselling author and Harvard-educated expert on the psychology of happiness. The American motivational speaker has spent much of his life researching the science of happiness and publishing his findings for the masses. Achor also founded GoodThink Inc., an organization dedicated to giving lectures on science-backed methods of pursuing happiness.

The Book: “The Happiness Advantage” discusses how happiness is directly related to our work performance, and our ability to achieve in both our personal lives and a work setting. Using scientific research and psychology, Achor explores what is truly the driving vessel behind success.

(LISTEN to the inspiring talk below) – Photo by Don McCullough, CC

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