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"I looked in temples, churches and mosques, but I found the divine within my heart."

- Rumi, Persian philosopher

Shawn Achor - Positive Psychology Expert

By Risa Schonbaum on 09 July 2012

Most people follow the assumption that if they work harder, they will become more successful and as a result will be happy. But could this basic idea be backwards? Shawn Achor, Positive Psychology Expert, teaches that actually happiness inspires productivity.

Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, spent over a decade at Harvard University where he won numerous distinguished teaching awards and delivered lectures on positive psychology in the most popular class at Harvard. Shawn graduated magna cum laude from Harvard with a BA in English and Religion, and earned a Masters degree from Harvard Divinity School in Christian and Buddhist ethics. For seven years, he served as an Officer of Harvard, living in Harvard Yard and counseling students through the stresses of their first year.

In 2007, Shawn founded Good Think Inc., a Cambridge-based consulting firm which researches positive outliers, people who are well above average, to understand where human potential, success and happiness intersect. When the global economy collapsed in 2008, he was immediately called in as an expert by the world’s largest banks to help restart forward progress. Today, Shawn travels around the world giving talks on positive psychology to Fortune 500 companies, schools and non-profit organizations. He has worked with doctors in California, executives in Hong Kong, teachers in South Africa and bankers in Switzerland. Based on his research and 12 years of experience at Harvard, he clearly and humorously describes to organizations how to increase happiness and meaning, raise success rates and profitability, and create positive transformations that ripple into more successful cultures. His research and lectures on happiness and human potential have received attention from the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Forbes, CNN and NPR.

In Shawn’s inspiring lectures, he recommends to stop delaying your happiness by outsourcing it to the external world, change your mindset and start choosing happiness now by creating positive habits. When you focus on the negative, there is no room to see the positive. However when we train and re-wire our brain toward optimism, it increases intelligence, energy, productivity and our success rate skyrockets.

Check out the fast-moving and entertaining talk from Shawn on TEDTalks: TEDxBloomington where he highlights secrets to happiness.