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Shawn Achor Happiness

Most of us believe that if we work hard, we’ll be successful and if we’re successful, we’ll be happy. While that sounds logical, it may not be the case. Psychologist Shawn Achor studies “positive psychology” and the human tendency to be unsatisfied, no matter how good our circumstances seem to outsiders.

He studied students at Harvard and found that new students were extremely happy during the first couple weeks of enrollment, but then happiness dropped precipitously and the students began feeling more discontent, stressed, and pessimistic. Through this study and several others, Achor has concluded that your external factors cannot predict your happiness level. He has found that 90% of your long-term happiness is predicted by how your brain processes the world.

In other words, your personal happiness depends on YOU!

But how can you elevate your positivity and, thus, improve your career and personal life? In his TED Talk, Achor urges us to focus on small acts that create ripples of positivity. These acts could be as simple as journaling, regular exercise, daily meditation, random acts of kindness, or listing three things for which you are grateful at the start of each day.

When people began implementing these small doses of positivity in to their lives, Achor found that they made a huge impact. Instead of being constantly dissatisfied, people began seeing the world through an optimistic lens. And that’s important because a “happy brain,” according to Achor’s research, is a high-functioning brain. He calls this the happiness advantage and has found that when we are in a positive frame of mind, our creativity, intelligence, and energy levels are all given a boost.

To learn more, please watch Achor’s remarkable TED Talk:

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS®DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, FOUNDER OF UXL, AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE TAG TEAM. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. YOU CAN VISIT HER WEBSITE AT WWW.YOUEXCELNOW.COM

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