book hack

Big Potential

Shawn Achor

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Big Potential will show you that the real secret to success and thriving in all aspects of life is developing strong connections with others, so you can mutually lift each other up.


Big Potential

Big Potential

by Shawn Achor


Imagine that two intelligent and hard-working women enter a rigorous freshman year at Harvard University. One decides that the best option for success is to become a recluse, focusing solely on study and work. The other also works hard but makes time for social events, study groups, and hanging out with friends.

Who turns out more successful - the hermit or the social butterfly? Experience shows it tends to be the latter. Hard work may provide a narrow solitary path to success, but social relationships provide many potential ones.

In his book The Happiness Advantage, author Shawn Achor flipped upside-down the notion that success causes happiness. In fact, enjoyment leads to achievement. The only question is how to find that joy, and for Achor the answer is through social connections. Big Potential: How Transforming the Pursuit of Success Raises Our Achievement, Happiness, and Well-Being will show you how making yourself and others happy can lead to an upward spiral of success.

Favorite quote

By denying the light of praise, we extinguish it. By bending the light towards others, we magnify it.

- Shawn Achor

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