In this entertaining TED Talk, Shawn Achor brings positive psychology to life. He shows that by changing the lens through which we look at life, it enables happiness to flow more easily.
The standard formula for happiness and success is often seen as: work harder equals more success equals becoming happier as a result.
But this is scientifically flawed. As we achieve something, it is hard-wired within us to look for the next success. The goal posts are always changing. Therefore, having happiness ‘on the other side’ of success means we never get there.
The goal, he says, is to raise ‘positivity’ in the present. This is what Shawn calls the happiness advantage and it increases our capacity in areas such as intelligence, creativity and energy.
He shares how this can be done and highlights that it is possible to re-wire the brain into a positive frame of mind in as little as 2 minutes a day, for 21 days.
Here’s the activities:
Writing down 3 new things that you are grateful for each day. This results in the brain scanning the world for positive things, rather than the negative.
Journaling about one positive experience over the past 24 hours enables you to re-live it.
There are countless studies on the link between happiness and exercise. With Shawn sharing that it teaches your brain that your behaviour matters.
Enables focus on the task at hand which in the modern world has become hard to do.
Random acts of kindness
Getting people to open their inbox and write one positive email thanking somebody in their support network for something they have done.
By doing these activities, it helps reverse the success and happiness formula and in Shawn’s words, “create ripples of positivity”.
I thoroughly recommend watch the full 12-minute TED talk here to be entertained as much as what you’ll learn:
Want to watch even more TED Talks we have shared. Check them all out here.