Shawn Achor - The Science of Happiness, Success, and Big Potential
Play • 50 min

In this special Season 2 opener, Carey welcomes author, speaker, researcher, and staunch advocate of Positive Psychology to her office, Shawn Achor. Part of Shawn’s mission is to challenge the modern idea of equating happiness with pleasure and replace it with an ancient Greek definition- namely, that happiness is the consistent growth towards our ultimate potential. It’s a broad and ambitious goal, but Shawn’s teaching on how to implement this practice is anything but broad. His experience as both a world-class researcher and someone who has personally struggled with anxiety/depression allows him to come ready with a psychology-backed list of small habits and activities that can change the way you deal with stress, and in turn changing the way you lead and perform. Keep listening to hear more about Shawn’s beginnings in Positive Psychology, his thoughts on the supposed phenomenon of “Toxic Positivity” in the age of social media, and why “Scanning for Gratitude'' is one of the most powerful practices for anyone trying to be happier and more present in daily life. 

Resources and Links


  • 2:30 - Redefining Happiness as Pursuit of Our Full Potential
  • 9:00 - Thinking Holistically to Achieve Happiness
  • 12:05 - Shawn’s Story of  Discovering Positive Psychology at Harvard
  • 16:50 - Managing Stress, NOT Eliminating It
  • 24:30 - Identifying Stress and Acknowledging its Meaning
  • 27:25 - Focusing on Solutions to Avoid Mental Fragmentation
  • 29: 40 - “Toxic Positivity” -  It’s More About Ignorance
  • 32: 45 - Everyday Example of Avoiding Narrow Thinking
  • 35:20 -  Implementing Positive Psychology in the Thick of Covid-19
  • 37:50 - Getting Practical: What Habits Can Make You Happier? 
  • 42:32 - “Scanning for Gratitude”
  • 44:05 - Mirror Neurons in Stress/Uncertainty
  • 46:45 - Carey: Just Start Somewhere and Be Intentional
  • 48:17 - Shawn’s Book and Where to Find Him
More episodes
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu