The Formula for Happiness & Success

The other day, Happster Danette introduced me to a TED Talk by Shawn Achor called “The Happy Secret to Better Work“. It is the best TED talk I’ve heard about happiness and I’m so excited to share it with you. I’ve included the video below and a recap below. Enjoy!

Below are some key points that Shawn makes in his talk:

– Many psychologists focus on the cult of average. They want to make their clients normal/average again. Positive psychology is different in that it is aimed at studying people who are above average, so that they can figure out how to not only move people up to the average, but how they can move the entire average up.
– Our external world is not predictive of our happiness levels. In reality, if Shawn knew everything about your external world, he could only predict 10% of your long-term happiness. 90% of your happiness is determined by how your brain processes the world.
– 75% of your job success is predicted by your optimism levels, your social support and your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of as a threat.
– Many people think that if they work harder, they will be more successful and if they’re more successful, they’ll be happier. The problem is it’s scientifically backwards. Our brains work the opposite way.
– If you raise your level of positivity in the present, then your intelligence, creativity, and energy rises. Your positive brain is 31% more productive than if it is negative, neutral or stressed. If we can be positive in the present, our brains are more successful.
– You can train your brain to become positive in a 2 minute span of time for 21 days in a row by doing the following:

  • Thinking of 3 things every day that you are grateful for
  • Journaling about one positive experience you’ve had over the past 24 hours
  • Exercising because it teaches the brain that your behavior matters
  • Meditating because it allows the brain to focus on the task at hand
  • Random acts of kindness (happy notes, anyone? :))

Just doing the actions above will re-wire your brain to make you more optimistic and successful!

What did you think of Shawn’s talk? Was there a specific part of his talk that really resonated with you? Are you going to take this 21 day challenge? Let me know in the comments!


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20 thoughts on “The Formula for Happiness & Success

  1. You are absolutely correct. I believe we can influence the 3 feet of space around us and make it better. That, through six degrees of contact will help make the world a better place. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Reblogged this on My CupKeiki and commented:
    I’ve been enjoying reading The Happsters blog, and really liked this Ted talk on Happiness. Check it out!

  3. I’m going to have to start working on how my brain processes the 90% of the world. Sounds simple but I can see that as a society, or human race, most are focused on the 10%.

  4. Reblogged this on Unhasty Misadventures and MS Adventures and commented:
    I love, love LOVE Ted Talks, so I was extremely happy to see this post!

    PS. Soon (hopefully) I’ll post more reno pictures and talk about not blogging regularly, and the guilty feelings it inspires in me… so sad! I want to blog when I have something interesting to say, not because I feel guilty about not posting regularly!

  5. LOVE this. I’m totally going to write about it in my next newsletter and on my blog! Thank you for introducing me to TED and to Shawn Anchor! (And thanks for following Color Me Happy 🙂 )

  6. Ted Talks has amazing subjects, I have got my family hooked on watching it. I do live my life in the 21 day challenge. The only difference is that I have issues with exercise. My body has a rare nerve disorder and it takes everything I have each day to push past the pain and fight for the positive. I encourage anyone that if there is even one step you know you can do…start with one step, then incorporate another…soon you will realize that you live those goals far beyond 21 days!

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