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1

Thanks to this cutting-edge science, we now know that happiness is the precursor to success, not merely the result. 79

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

2

John Milton wrote in Paradise Lost, “The Mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” 105

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

3

In 2004, for instance, a Harvard Crimson poll found that as many as 4 in 5 Harvard students suffer from depression at least once during the school year, and nearly half of all students suffer from depression so debilitating they can’t function.

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

4

Medical School Syndrome? In the first year of medical school, as students listen to all the diseases and symptoms that can befall a person, many aspiring doctors become suddenly convinced that they have come down with ALL of them.

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

5

Harvard undergraduates, the average number of romantic relationships over four years is less than one. The average number of sexual partners, if you’re curious, is 0.5 per student. 217

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

6

the greatest predictor of success and happiness: their social support network. Countless studies have found that social relationships are the best guarantee of heightened well-being and lowered stress, both an antidote for depression and a prescription for high performance. 228

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

7

doctors put in a positive mood before making a diagnosis show almost three times more intelligence and creativity than doctors in a neutral state, and they make accurate diagnoses 19 percent faster. Optimistic salespeople outsell their pessimistic counterparts by 56 percent. Students primed to feel happy before taking math achievement tests far outperform their neutral peers. It turns out that our brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative or even neutral, but when they are positive. 235

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

8

The Happiness Advantage—Because positive brains have a biological advantage over brains that are neutral or negative, 263

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

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happiness leads to success in nearly every domain, including work, health, friendship, sociability, creativity, and energy. 326

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

10

the average academic journal article is read by only seven people. 348

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

11

The belief that we are just our genes is one of the most pernicious myths in modern culture—the 401

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

12

it was a commonly held notion in the most esteemed research circles that after adolescence our brains were fixed and unyielding. Neuroplasticity, the idea that the brain is malleable and can therefore change throughout our lives, 421

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

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our brains change in response to our actions and circumstances. 446

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

14

sleep researcher who had data to show that the more you sleep, the more gracefully you age. 483

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

15

When we are happy—when our mindset and mood are positive—we are smarter, more motivated, and thus more successful. Happiness is the center, and success revolves around it. 513

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

16

happiness is relative to the person experiencing it. 542

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

17

how do the scientists define happiness? Essentially, as the experience of positive emotions—pleasure combined with deeper feelings of meaning and purpose. Happiness implies a positive mood in the present and a positive outlook for the future. Martin Seligman, the pioneer in positive psychology, has broken it down into three, measurable components: pleasure, engagement, and meaning. 547

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

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happiness is the joy we feel striving after our potential. 555

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

19

Barbara Fredrickson, a researcher at the University of North Carolina and perhaps the world’s leading expert on the subject, describes the ten most common positive emotions: “joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and love.” 557

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

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Another study found that how happy individuals were as college freshmen predicted how high their income was nineteen years later, regardless of their initial level of wealth. 586

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

21

unhappy employees take more sick days, staying home an average of 1.25 more days per month, or 15 extra sick days a year. 599

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

22

researchers gave subjects a survey designed to measure levels of happiness—then injected them with a strain of the cold virus.13 A week later, the individuals who were happier before the start of the study had fought off the virus much better than the less happy individuals. They didn’t just feel better, either; they actually had fewer objective symptoms of illness 601

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

23

Barbara Fredrickson has termed the “Broaden and Build Theory.” Instead of narrowing our actions down to fight or flight as negative emotions do, positive ones broaden the amount of possibilities we process, making us more thoughtful, creative, and open to new ideas. For instance, individuals who are “primed”—meaning scientists help evoke a certain mindset or emotion before doing an experiment—to feel either amusement or contentment can think of a larger and wider array of thoughts and ideas than individuals who have been primed to feel either anxiety or anger. And when positive emotions broaden our scope of cognition and behavior in this way, they not only make us more creative, they help us build more intellectual, social, and physical resources we can rely upon in the future. 615

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

24

Positive emotions actually expand our peripheral line of vision. 631

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

25

The children who were primed to be happy significantly outperformed the others, completing the task both more quickly and with fewer errors. 651

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

26

students who were told to think about the happiest day of their lives right before taking a standardized math test outperformed their peers. 653

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

27

diagnostic errors often result from an inflexibility in thinking, or a phenomenon called “anchoring.” Anchoring occurs when a doctor has trouble letting go of an initial diagnosis (the anchor point), even in the face of new information that contradicts the initial theory. 661

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

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the happy doctors made the right diagnosis much faster and exhibited much more creativity. On average, they came to a correct diagnosis only 20 percent of the way through the manuscript—nearly twice as fast as the control group—and showed about two and half times less anchoring. 670

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

29

Even the smallest shots of positivity can give someone a serious competitive edge. 676

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

30

a quick burst of positive emotions doesn’t just broaden our cognitive capacity; it also provides a quick and powerful antidote to stress and anxiety, which in turn improves our focus and our ability to function at our best level. 697

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

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