This gem rocked my world! I’m fascinated by research that proves the opposite of what society would have us believe. The stuff we’re spoon-fed as children, mostly by well-meaning parents, but due to how this well disguised blend of spoon-fed garbage is presented to us, we grow up believing a reality** that is flat out untrue.
And that garbage has to do with where our happiness comes from.
Meet Shawn Achor, Positive Psychology Expert
Enter Shawn Achor, who spent over a decade at Harvard University, pursuing his studies and research. (Pure icing on the cake when this sort of research comes with such prestigious backing — would you care as much if it came from a survey conducted by Elle magazine? Would I even be writing about it?)
I was introduced to Shawn Achor via a TED Talk a girlfriend sent me, where the very fast-talking, laugh out loud FUNNY Achor presents a talk called, “The Happiness Advantage: Research Linking Happiness and Success.”
Along with some truly hilarious stories and asides, Achor also presents compelling data on, basically, the science of happiness. Positive Psychology.
The Role of Our Brain in Positive Psychology
He discusses how our brains react when we watch the evening news, saturated with stories of murder, corruption, disease, natural disaster. This exaggerated ratio of bad to good sends the message to our brains that there’s way more negative in the world than positive. Our brains start to scan our world for the negative first, as a result.
**In terms of how our reality is shaped, Achor says this,
It’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality. And if we can change the lens, not only can we change your happiness, but we can change every single educational and business outcome at the same time.”
More Gems Achor Presents:
- Many of us assume our outside world is predictive of our happiness. Not true.
- Our outside world only accounts for 10% of our long-term happiness.
- The other 90% of our long-term happiness depends on how our brains process the world.
- 25% of job successes are predicted by IQ.
- 75% of job successes are predicted by your:
- optimism levels
- social support
- ability to see stress as a challenge, instead of as a threat
Train Your Brain to Become More Positive
Achor ends his talk with five simple things you can do in under two minutes per day. Do these for 21 consecutive days and train your brain to be more positive.
- 3 Gratitudes – jot down 3 new things per day that you’re grateful for. After 21 days, your brain begins to retain a pattern and will scan the world for the positive, not the negative.
- Journal – capture on paper a positive event that occurred within the past 24 hours. By doing this, you are allowing your brain to relive the experience.
- Exercise – teaches your brain that your behavior matters.
- Meditation – allows us to balance out our cultural ADHD, where we constantly try to do more than one thing at a time; it allows our brains to focus on the task at hand.
- Random Acts of Kindness – once a day, send someone in your social support network a positive email praising or thanking them.
There you have it, the highlights from the TED Talk that rocked my world. Use this post to reinforce/remind yourself of points Achor makes, but if you want to experience Positive Psychology, watch the video here. He does not disappoint.
Because the first picture wasn’t big enough…
What do you think? Would Shawn let me come work for him?
My gratitude to KW for sending me this gift, as I pay it forward and dedicate this post to another dear friend: CM. There’s science, brilliance, and self-preservation involved in Positive Psychology (cutting off oxygen to the “Vortex of Chaos” others choose to live in). But then again, you already know that. You’re a living example.
We all deserve to know about the Science of Happiness — Positive Psychology. Help spread the word by paying it forward. It’s as easy as clicking ‘Share.’ I guarantee this is exactly what someone is looking for today! Love, Leslie