How often have you considered your state of mind and your level of productivity when you have felt happy?
In our fast paced lives, most probably few of us ever consider the correlation of the two. But, according to Shawn Achor in this TEDx talk: The Happy Secret to better work the correlation is very high.
This very fast talking psychologist injects a hefty chunk of humour into his talk to not just garner our attention, but to drive home his point. Happiness, which he has studied and researched, is, he claims, a powerful tool which can transform not only our productivity in the workforce, but our ability to learn.
In short, a happiness revolution can re-wire our brains.
The outcome of success is not happiness, Achor maintains. Rather, success leads to us constantly resetting our goalposts which does not achieve increased levels of happiness: “You got good grades, now you have to get better grades, you got into a good school and after you get into a better one, you got a good job, now you have to get a better job, you hit your sales target, we’re going to change it.“
But our brains work in the opposite order. If you can raise somebody’s level of positivity in the present, then their brain experiences what we now call a happiness advantage, which is your brain at positive performs significantly better than at negative, neutral or stressed. Your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise. In fact, we’ve found that every single business outcome improves. Your brain at positive is 31% more productive than your brain at negative, neutral or stressed.” (10.03 mins)
By finding a way of becoming positive in the present, our brains work harder, faster and more intelligently. Dopamine, which floods into our bodies when we are positive, not only makes us happier, but it turns on all the learning centres in our brain allowing us to adapt to the world in a different way.
The key to becoming positive is to train our brains to think and see our world in a more positive way. In other words, to rewire our brains! The process is really quite simple:
- once a day – for 21 days
- take two minutes
- to write down three things for which you are grateful
- each day write down three new things for which you are grateful
Further processes include:
- writing about a positive experience in the previous 24 hours allows our brain to relive the experience
- mental exercise teaches us that behaviour matters
- meditation enhances our ability to focus on the task at hand rather than multitasking
- random acts of kindness become conscious acts of kindness
- writing a positive email to praise or thank someone in our support network
After just three weeks of thinking positively, we will have retrained our brains to see the positive before the negative. The process of focusing on the positive will create a mindset more attuned to happiness.
Achor has worked in both business and schools, helping to sew the seeds of a happiness revolution. Have a listen and be inspired!