Shawn Achor grew up in Waco, Texas, raised by a positive school teacher mother and a neuroscientist father, who would hook his son up to brain wave machines for his experiments. At age 18, Shawn received a military scholarship to attend Harvard University. After spending 12 years at Harvard, and then a decade traveling to 50 countries to research the science of happiness, Shawn has become the world’s leading expert on the connection between happiness and success.
Shawn studied Christian and Buddhist ethics at Harvard Divinity School, and he has become a missionary to the world, teaching that happiness is a choice and change is possible. He has worked with people of all backgrounds—from schoolchildren in South Africa to leaders at Camp David, from doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital to soldiers returning from combat service.
Shawn’s mission is to find ways to bridge science, spirituality and everyday life. And, his message is spreading. Shawn has brought happiness research to nearly half the Fortune 100, to the NFL, Pentagon and the US Treasury. He has one of the most popular TED talks of all time, his research made the cover of Harvard Business Review, and his HBO documentary on happiness has been seen by millions. Shawn is the New York Times best-selling author of the Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness. He is married to happiness researcher and former CBS network anchor Michelle Gielan, and is learning more about happiness everyday as the proud father of a 2-year-old named Leo.