Summary of Before Happiness

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

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Before Happiness book summary
If you are open to happiness, you can take five steps to create lasting positive change.


9 Overall

9 Applicability

9 Innovation

7 Style


Best-selling author Shawn Achor, a psychologist who teaches and conducts education-related research at Harvard University, discusses five basic skills you need to make sustainable positive changes in your life. He explains that happy people live longer and enjoy better health, higher productivity and greater success. These people generally see obstacles as temporary, while unhappy people tend to see roadblocks as permanent. Achor describes how to create an environment conducive to personal happiness that fosters lasting, satisfying change. He offers thorough data to back up his main points and most of his text is interesting, though some readers may find it somewhat academic. Nonetheless, presenting five concrete steps toward achieving happiness is a great practical achievement. getAbstract recommends Achor’s method to busy people who seek actual measures they can take to become happier.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why happiness benefits you,
  • How to prepare yourself for being happy and
  • What five skills you must cultivate to sustain happiness.


To become happier, create a “positive reality” that encourages and enables happiness. Your levels of happiness and success derive from “your perception of your world.” No matter what is going on in your work or personal life, your positive reality opens the door to achieving positive change and becoming...
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About the Author

Shawn Achor wrote the international bestseller The Happiness Advantage. He spent 12 years at Harvard studying happiness. Achor travels the world lecturing and researching. His TED Talk on happiness has 14.6 million views.

Comment on this summary

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    Jie Wang 3 months ago
    #30DaysOfSummaries "create a positive reality" is what I feel most of this summary, and it can be an effective way to approach success and happiness.
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    Joanne Thomson 3 months ago
    We need more of this in our work life and home life.
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    Ashish Agarwal 3 months ago
    According to this summary, the happiness is dependent on selecting a valuable reality from among your options. What if none of the options on the buffet table make you happy, is there an ability to make something/ get something made for yourself?

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Contained in Knowledge Pack:

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    Happiness Research
    What does it take to make people really happy? Big hint: it`s not money, fame, sex or glory.

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