The Orange Frog | Happiness Advantage

Bringing Happiness Research to Life at Work!

~ Shawn Achor ~

I am told that most academics have a difficult time translating research to people outside of academia, and that the average scientific journal is read by all of seven people. That means a huge gap exists between what we have actually learned about human potential and what most people know. So I have dedicated my life to helping people bridge this gap by making research understandable, practical and useful in our personal and professional lives.

Sometimes I use graphs at Fortune 500 companies depicting how happiness affects the bottom line. Sometimes, like in my TED talk, I use funny stories like my sister falling off a bunk bed. Sometimes I use case studies of outlier organizations.

And, when I want to make research come to life in a workshop, I use an Orange Frog.

In the learning process, I believe narratives are crucial if we want to move from information to transformation.

In that spirit, Spark was born.

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About the workshop - Positive Environments Create Engaged Performance.

The Orange Frog is a classroom  based experiential workshop that teaches the science of sustainable peak  performance.

Positive environments are performance enhancers. They  are characterized by higher productivity, less turnover and more resilient  cultures and healthier employees.


Applying the latest research-based techniques from the field of positive  psychology, individuals learn the practices of resilient leaders; they become  more adaptable and develop a capacity to “see” more opportunities,  leading to better results.


Workshop participants first learn to embrace the benefits of positive  performance; they then share them naturally with co-workers leading to a  “rippling” effect inside the organization.


  • Discovering why Happiness is a Choice

  • Understanding why positive outliers are critical for success in the new economy  Stopping the predictable practices that drive positive outliers underground

  • Learning why organizations apply the success formula backwards and disengage their employees  Learning 5 research-proven tactics for increasing happiness

  • Learning why increases in happiness create increases in every business and educational outcomes  Practicing the use of the “Social Investment Solution”

  • Learning to apply “20 Second Rule” and “Zorro Circles” to initiate transformation and increase  likelihood of success

  • Identifying new routines which embed happiness into the work environment  Discovering why Social Scripts are the hidden secret to happiness and success

  • Learning to re-write the prevailing social script for a more positive environment for your team  Determining how happiness can be leveraged to drive your organization’s strategic agenda  Creating an action plan for personal growth

  • Creating a plan with/for your team to embed principles of positive engagement into existing work  routines

The Magic of the Parable

Caught between two worlds, Spark was exactly like every other frog in his pond with one notable exception.  Spark emerges from a tadpole with a slight but noticeable orange spot. And this orange spot makes Spark feel uncomfortably different. What’s more, Spark begins to make a disconcerting observation; when Spark  does things that make him feel better (and produce more positive results) the orange spots increase. Spark is  left with a difficult decision; be normal, which makes him less conspicuous, or continue doing those things  that make him happier, more productive and… more orange.


So begins the parable of The Orange Frog, a disarming tale that serves as the starting point for The  Happiness Advantage | Orange Frog Workshop™. By the end of the story, readers see and feel pressures  they recognize in their day-to-day lives. They also witness the most remarkable transformation that takes  place when Spark finally chooses to adopt an orange way of life. Not only does his own personal satisfaction  and productivity increase, these same results slowly start to ripple out to the other frogs in the pond.


The Orange Frog was written specifically to support this workshop. We know that stories have been used  throughout history to carry forward our most important lessons – and there is a reason – they work.

Parables in particular are effective because they force the brain to dual process each idea making it stick in  our brain and also allowing us to enjoy the learning process – while withholding judgment.

The Seven Principles

The Happiness Advantage

Because positive brains have a biological advantage over brains that are neutral or negative,  this principle teaches us how to retrain our brains to capitalize on positivity so we can  improve our productivity and performance. Also provides 5 proven tactics to increase  happiness.



The Zorro Circle

Our brains need to record wins in order to feel like our behavior matters – this is especially  true in times of change. When challenges loom and we get overwhelmed, our rational brains  can get hijacked by emotions. This principle teaches us how to regain control and ensure short  term wins by focusing first on small, manageable goals, and then gradually expanding our  circle to achieve bigger and bigger ones.



The 20-Second Rule

Sustaining lasting change often feels impossible because our willpower is limited. And when willpower fails, we fall  back on our old habits and succumb to the path of least resistance. This principle shows how, by making small energy  adjustments, we can reroute the path of least resistance and replace bad habits with good ones and make transition  easier to initiate.



The Social Investment Solution

In the midst of challenges and stress, a strong social support network is the greatest predictor of both performance  and happiness. Instead of hunkering down and retreating within themselves, the most successful people invest in  their friends, peers, and family members to propel themselves forward. Learn how to engage others to ensure mutual  success.



Mindset Matters

How we experience the world, and our ability to succeed within it, constantly changes based on our mindset. This  principle teaches us how we can adjust our mindset and embed this powerful practice into our work routines in a way  that increases our power to be more fulfilled and more successful.



The Tetris Effect

Also called cognitive afterimage, this principle creates patterns and filters. When our brains get stuck in a pattern that  focuses on stress and negativity, we set ourselves up to fail. The Tetris Effect teaches us how to retrain our brains to  spot patterns of possibility, so we can see - and seize - opportunity wherever we look. Leverage this principle in work  routines to help your team uncover positive solutions amidst chaos and turbulence.



Falling Up

In the midst of defeat, stress and crisis, our brains map different paths to help us cope. This principle is about finding  the mental path that not only leads us up out of failure or suffering, but allows us to be happier and more successful  because of it. Successful companies leverage this concept by telling and amplifying stories of triumph and creating  legends of hope, optimism and resilience.


This is a game changer

Everyone needs to do this

Valuable and practical way to be happy and work and perform better

Greatest team bonding experience ever

Brings everyone together to perform

Greatest gift this organization has ever given us

Every organization should invest in peoples happiness

I feel more positive with not only my work but my family and life

Further information - Contact us

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Shawn Achor - On the Orange Frog