The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success

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Everyone wants happiness and success, yet the pursuit of both has never been more elusive. As work and personal demands rise, we try to keep up by juggling everything better, moving faster, and doing more. While we might succeed in the short term, this approach comes at a high cost in the long term: it hurts our well-being, our relationships, and—paradoxically—our productivity.

In this life-changing book, Emma Seppälä explains that the reason we are burning ourselves out is that we fall for outdated theories of success. We are taught that getting ahead means doing everything that’s thrown at us with razor-sharp focus and iron discipline, that success depends on our drive and talents, and that achievement cannot happen without stress.

The Happiness Track demolishes these counterproductive theories. Drawing on the latest scientific research on happiness, resilience, willpower, compassion, positive stress, creativity, and mindfulness,

Seppälä demonstrates that being happy is the most productive thing we can do to thrive—whether at work or at home. She shares practical strategies for applying these scientific findings to our daily lives.

A fulfilling, successful, and anxiety-free life is within your reach. The Happiness Track will show you the way.

Happiness Is the Fast Track to Success

“Are you a hard-driving, multitasking, conscientiously striving professional? Then your ideas about success are probably all wrong—and you need The Happiness Track, Dr. Emma Seppälä’s investigation into the counter-intuitive factors that create career and life success. The best news of all? All these skills are well within your grasp.”—Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

“Emma Seppälä convinces us that reconfiguring our brain for happiness can change the way our lives unfold and the way we approach success. A worthwhile read for anyone who wants to achieve a successful and fulfilling life.”—Amy Cuddy, professor at Harvard Business School and author of Presence

“Backed by extensive research in psychology and neuroscience, The Happiness Track offers a wealth of insight on changing how we approach our work, our personal lives, and our relationships. It’s a carefully researched, engaging look at how to improve ourselves without losing our authenticity or our sanity.”—Adam Grant, Wharton professor and New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take and Originals

“Through her research-backed strategies, Emma Seppälä teaches us not only how to thrive in our chosen profession, but how to stay true to ourselves—and enjoy every moment of the process.”—Susan Cain, cofounder of Quiet Revolution and New York Times bestselling author of Quiet

“For decades we’ve been tied to theories of success that have burned us out and driven us into the ground—because we don’t know of any alternatives. The Happiness Track provides us with a highly readable, science-backed solution to obtaining sustainable success, the sort of success we are all really striving for, that leaves us fulfilled, happy, and healthy.”—Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D., scientific director at the Imagination Institute at the University of Pennsylvania

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About the author

EMMA SEPPÄLÄ, PH.D., is the science director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, the founder of the popular news site Fulfillment Daily, and a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review and Psychology Today.

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Additional Information

Publisher
HarperCollins
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Published on
Jan 26, 2016
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9780062344021
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / General
Self-Help / Personal Growth / Happiness
Self-Help / Personal Growth / Success
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Our most commonly held formula for success is broken.
 
Conventional wisdom holds that if we work hard we will be more successful, and if we are more successful, then we’ll be happy. If we can just find that great job, win that next promotion, lose those five pounds, happiness will follow. But recent discoveries in the field of positive psychology have shown that this formula is actually backward: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around.

When we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive at work. This isn’t just an empty mantra. This discovery has been repeatedly borne out by rigorous research in psychology and neuroscience, management studies, and the bottom lines of organizations around the globe.
           
In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor, who spent over a decade living, researching, and lecturing at Harvard University, draws on his own research—including one of the largest studies of happiness and potential at Harvard and others at companies like UBS and KPMG—to fix this broken formula. Using stories and case studies from his work with thousands of Fortune 500 executives in 42 countries, Achor explains how we can reprogram our brains to become more positive in order to gain a competitive edge at work.
           
Isolating seven practical, actionable principles that have been tried and tested everywhere from classrooms to boardrooms, stretching from Argentina to Zimbabwe, he shows us how we can capitalize on the Happiness Advantage to improve our performance and maximize our potential. Among the principles he outlines:
 
• The Tetris Effect: how to retrain our brains to spot patterns of possibility, so we can see—and seize—opportunities wherever we look.
• The Zorro Circle: how to channel our efforts on small, manageable goals, to gain the leverage to gradually conquer bigger and bigger ones.
• Social Investment: how to reap the dividends of investing in one of the greatest predictors of success and happiness—our social support network
 
A must-read for everyone trying to excel in a world of increasing workloads, stress, and negativity, The Happiness Advantage isn’t only about how to become happier at work. It’s about how to reap the benefits of a happier and more positive mind-set to achieve the extraordinary in our work and in our lives.
In a culture obsessed with happiness, this wise, stirring book points the way toward a richer, more satisfying life.

Too many of us believe that the search for meaning is an esoteric pursuit—that you have to travel to a distant monastery or page through dusty volumes to discover life’s secrets. The truth is, there are untapped sources of meaning all around us—right here, right now.

To explore how we can craft lives of meaning, Emily Esfahani Smith synthesizes a kaleidoscopic array of sources—from psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, and neuroscientists to figures in literature and history such as George Eliot, Viktor Frankl, Aristotle, and the Buddha. Drawing on this research, Smith shows us how cultivating connections to others, identifying and working toward a purpose, telling stories about our place in the world, and seeking out mystery can immeasurably deepen our lives.

To bring what she calls the four pillars of meaning to life, Smith visits a tight-knit fishing village in the Chesapeake Bay, stargazes in West Texas, attends a dinner where young people gather to share their experiences of profound loss, and more. She also introduces us to compelling seekers of meaning—from the drug kingpin who finds his purpose in helping people get fit to the artist who draws on her Hindu upbringing to create arresting photographs. And she explores how we might begin to build a culture that leaves space for introspection and awe, cultivates a sense of community, and imbues our lives with meaning.

Inspiring and story-driven, The Power of Meaning will strike a profound chord in anyone seeking a life that matters.
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