In his TEDx talk, psychologist and author Shawn Achor humorously lays out a serious case against the belief that if we work hard it will result in success which will result in happiness. Achor’s research shows that the opposite is actually true: that if we are happy, our brains function at a higher level and success is more likely to follow.
Achor notes that most people assume the external world predicts happiness levels but actually 90% is predicted by the way your brain processes the world. Therefore, if you change the way you view the world, you can change the way you view reality.
He offers these suggestions for rewiring your brain by performing them 21 days in a row:
- 3 Gratitudes: writing 3 new things to be grateful for every day trains your brain to scan for the positive
- Journaling about 1 positive experience each day allows you to relive it
- Exercise teaches the brain that your behavior matters
- Meditation allows the brain to focus instead of multi-task
- Random Acts of Kindness allows you to act on your gratitude
Our world is a bit topsy-turvy right now and it can seem hard to find the joy in current conditions. Spend 12 minutes watching Achor’s very funny speech and then adopt one of the above practices to shift your focus to something more positive. Starting with happiness can shift your reality and help you emerge from isolation with a new formula for success.