Before Happiness Summary


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The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change

Happiness is a mindset. Learn how to achieve it and change your life for the better with Shawn Achor’s “Before Happiness.”

About Shawn Achor

Shawn Achor is a bestselling writer, lecturer, researcher, and speaker.

"Before Happiness Summary"

Happiness is a mindset.

In other words, your happiness directly depends on “your perception of your world.”

So, in order to increase your happiness levels, naturally, you need to change your environment. We are not talking about an actual, tangible change, but about creating a “positive reality” for yourself.

You can successfully walk the path of happiness, by developing five skills:

  • “Choose the Most Valuable Reality”
Contrary to what you may believe, the reality is not a single image of the world. Instead, you are choosing from the multiple realities available to you at each moment.

To decide which reality suits you, look at your choices from different perspectives. Doing this will broaden your worldview and show you more possibilities.

  • Create A Mental Map of Success
Using a map will make sure you are not lost on the path toward your goal. Positivity is harder to achieve when you are burdened with work or home obligations.
  • Take Advantage of the “X-Spot”
The X-spot is “brain event” that happens when you realize the finish line is nearby, and you feel a burst of speed. You can “accelerate your success rates” by defining and concentrating on your X-spots as “early and often” as possible.
  • Stay Open to Positive Signals and Don’t Pay Attention to the Noise That Distorts Reality
Each day we are faced with an information overload, which makes it increasingly difficult to differentiate between noise and signal. However, you have to learn to make the difference. Remember that signals always show you opportunities and possibilities for success. Noise is everything that suffocates positive signals.
  • Build a Positive Reality
Create a positive experience for yourself by “creating a shared narrative” revolving around an emotional experience and rewriting your “social script.” Social scripts are the unwritten behaviors that without you being aware of it – control your life and your experiences.

Key Lessons from “Before Happiness”

1. The Five Skills That Lead to Success 2. Tips for Decreasing External Noise Consumption 3. Ways to Build a Positive Reality

The Five Skills That Lead to Success

  • “Choose the Most Valuable Reality”
  • Create A Mental Map of Success
  • Take Advantage of the “X-Spot”
  • Stay Open to Positive Signals and Don’t Pay Attention to the Noise That Distorts Reality
  • Build a Positive Reality

Tips for Decreasing External Noise Consumption

  • Mute TV and online advertising.
  • Turn off the radio and conversate with other passengers instead.
  • Delete news links from your bookmarks.
  • Limit your intake of predictions from financial and political commentators.
  • Avoid feeding yourself articles about tragedies you can not change.
  • “When working, listen to music without lyrics.”

Ways to Build a Positive Reality

  • Franchising Success
  • Creating a Shared Narrative Around an Emotional Experience
  • Rewriting Your Social Scripts
  • Working With Others to Overcome Hardships
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“Before Happiness” Quotes

[bctt tweet="Positive realities are contagious in both directions." username="get12min"]

[bctt tweet=“When you smile, your brain releases the neurochemical dopamine, which improves your mood and your reality as well.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“The more you care about a goal or target, the more energy, and effort you will invest in achieving it.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“Noise is much more than just a distraction; it blocks out signals that can point you toward positive growth.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“If you or your team are going through a rough period, ramp up the ratio of positive interactions, even by doing something as simple as complimenting someone or bringing in doughnuts.” username=“get12min”]