The Happiness Advantage

roseDid you know you can buy happiness?

Now that I have your attention, I’ll tell you how much it costs.  Not much.

This week, my husband brought me a simple bouquet of flowers from the grocery store. When he arranged them in water, he pulled out a single rose and put it in a slender vase that fits nicely by my computer screen. As I worked for the next 2 days with that little flower smiling at me, it made me happier than normal. It evoked a sense of well-being and clarity. I felt more productive.  Sounds silly, but I decided fresh flowers on my desk are an investment I need to make on a regular basis. A good business decision is accompanied by a positive Return on Investment (ROI) and I am certain this is a good plan.

I’ve been a happy person for so long, it’s never really occurred to me that happiness can be taught.

So it was with delight and a sense of destiny that I came across this TEDTalk video of Shawn Achor, author of “The Happiness Advantage.” This will make you laugh and leave you smiling, but also provoke you to consider that we can actually train our brain to be happy.

Achor says, “It’s not necessarily reality that shapes us, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes reality.” And if that doesn’t intrigue you, consider his research that shows that 75% of your career success is NOT dependent on IQ, but on 3 major factors:

1. Your optimism levels.

2. Social support.

3. Your ability to see stress as a challenge rather than a threat.


P.S. After this presentation, no one will ever be able to tell me I talk too fast. This may be a record.

6 thoughts on “The Happiness Advantage”

  1. I loved this. Great message and great video. Love the way you pulld these two together. Tell Jim he get’s extra points from me for the computer rose! Bec:).

  2. “The Happiness Advantage” really does make a difference! One of the greatest parts of the book is it provides five exercises anyone can do every day to increase their relative level of happiness. I believe so strongly in this material that I’ve taken Shawn Achor’s concept of “random acts of kindness” to the next level by starting the Share the Advantage project. We are giving away 365 copies of “The Happiness Advantage” this year as an approach to spreading the advantage with others through random acts of kindness. Please check us out at We’d love to hear from you!

  3. Beverly Lewis

    What an awesome project! I’m fascinated by your vision. “What if” people increased their happiness level by just 5% by
    implenting Shawn’s concepts? A better world…
    Thanks for sharing the site.

  4. Beverly Lewis

    Deborah, You live with a sense of delight and wonder so I’m not a bit surprised this speaks to you.
    Our language…. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Always good to hear from you.

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