Turning adversity into opportunity

The book Happiness Advantage suggests the trick to turn adversity into opportunity is to realize that there always exists a path that leads us from failure or setback to a place where we are even stronger and more capable than before the fall.

Things do not necessarily happen for the best, but some people are able to make the best out of things that happen - Tal Ben-Shahar

Success is more about using that downward momentum to propel ourselves in the opposite direction. It’s about capitalizing on setbacks and adversity to become even happier, even more motivated, and even more successful.


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Improving Positive Attitude

I wrote about Happiness Advantage Book in my earlier post and the book suggests following exercise to improve your positive attitude.

The best way to kick-start this is to start making a daily list of the good things in your job, your career, and your life. It may sound hokey, or ridiculously simple— and indeed the activity itself is simple— but over a decade of empirical studies has proven the profound effect it has on the way our brains are wired. When you write down a list of “three good things” that happened that day, your brain will be forced to scan the last 24 hours for potential positives— things that brought small or large laughs, feelings of accomplishment at work, a strengthened connection with family, a glimmer of hope for the future. In just five minutes a day, this trains the brain to become more skilled at noticing and focusing on possibilities for personal and professional growth, and seizing opportunities to act on them.

The book also narrates very interesting experiment done on the luck factor by Richard Wiseman and what he found was

it turns out that there is no such thing—in a scientific sense, at least— as luck. The only difference (and it is a big one) is whether or not people think that they are lucky— in essence, whether they expect good or bad things to happen to them.


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Happiness Advantage Book by Shawn Achor

I recently read the book Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor and it was excellent read. The fundamental idea that this book evangelizes is that happiness brings you success and not otherway around. Here is highlight from the book.

we have led to believe that happiness orbited around success. That if we work hard enough, we will be successful, and only if we are successful will we become happy. Success was thought to be the fixed point of the work universe, with happiness revolving around it. Now, thanks to breakthroughs in the burgeoning field of positive psychology, we are learning that the opposite is true. When we are happy—when our mindset and mood are positive—we are smarter, more motivated, and thus more successful. Happiness is the center, and success revolves around it

Here is the number of proven methods suggested in the book that can improve our moods and raise our levels of happiness.

  • Meditate: Take just five minutes each day to watch your breath go in and out.

  • Find Something to Look forward to: If you can’t take time for a enjoyable event right now, put something on the calendar. Then whenever you need a boost of happiness, remind yourself about it

  • Commit Concious Act of Kindness: Pick one a day of a week and make point of commiting five acts of kindness.

  • Infuse Positivity Into Your Surroundings: Make specific efforts to infuse positivity in your surroundings and also change your surroundings to keep negative emotions out.

  • Exercise: Walk, Bike , Run, Play or whatever you can do to keep you moving.

  • Spend money on experiences (but Not on Stuff): Spend your money experiences like vacation , dinner out etc., instead of things like television, shoes.

  • Exercise a Signature Strength: Everyone is good at something. A team of psychlogists recently catalogued the 24 cross-cultural signature strengths, you can take this survey to indentify your own signature strengths, then try to incorporate at least one of them into your life each day.

The book also provides practical, actionable principles that you can follow to increase your positive attitudes, happiness and become successful in your work and life.


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