The Happiness Advantage


Some believe happiness comes from finding themselves in the right places, relationships, job, or income level.  I don’t believe that, and in recent years there is enough evidence from the field of psychology in what I have believed all along: happiness is not a byproduct of success. The opposite is actually true: happy people become successful.

happiness advantage

After finishing reading Shawn Achor’s book, “The Happiness Advantage,” I bought a copy for everyone on my team.  Shawn’s work is well researched without being didactic. It offers practical steps even for those who are not naturally prone to be happy.  I highly recommend it.

One of the points that resonated with me the most came from a 40-year-old study directed by psychologist George Vaillant. He summed up his findings in one word “love—full stop.”  In his words, there are “70 years of evidence that our relationships with other people matter and matter more than anything else in the world.”

As a Christian I knew that. After all, people matter to God. God’s relationship with us was so important that He sent His son to redeem it. I’ve preached it from the pulpit.

And yet we, no, I, too often sacrifice long-term relationships because of pettiness and self-righteous indignation. “It’s not my turn to call. If he wants to know how I’m doing, he’ll call.”  I have cut people out of my life because of an insensitive remark I found offensive. Just like that. Sometimes I have moments of lucidity and my inner dialogue kicks in, “are you willing to lose a friend over so little an offense? How stupid are you?” Well, pretty stupid at times.

I want to live and lead from a place of grace and enjoy life-long relationships that define who I am and the legacy I leave behind. Ultimately my happiness depends on how successful I am at doing that. The competing forces of power, money, and pleasure never deliver on their promises. They never have.

How’s your social network? How close are you to those around you?

  • That book sounds like a great read. Will have to add it to my reading list for sure.

    As far as my social network, it’s been kind of weak lately, and something I’m taking steps to rectify. I’ve found myself in a weird season of transition, with some friends leaving, others moving in a different direction in life, and I’m finding myself surrounded by a lot of new people I’m not that deep with yet. Definitely exciting time, but I’m realizing my social network needs some work.

    Great post man.

    • Jason, sometimes a new chapter in our lives bring valuable new rewarding relationships. Thank you for your transparency.

  • Robert jones

    I love this post! So true. Without my friends I could not be happy. Thank you. 

  • Steve Shantz

    I love this post as well. I’ve noticed myself lately distancing myself from my social network as I see happiness in areas that are more selfish than relational. This is a good reminder to me that the people God has placed in my life are source of happiness, and my goal should be to be a source of happiness to them as well.

  • “The Happiness Advantage” really does make a difference! I believe that fact so strongly 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 and on facebook. We’d love to hear from you!

Share “The Happiness Advantage” by Maurilio Amorim


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