How to exercise our happiness advantage and become happier? You will be happier today and you will increase your chances of success. And one, which I call the Third Path, that leads us from failure or setback to a place where we are even stronger and more capable than before the fall.”, “Study after study shows that if we are able to conceive of a failure as an opportunity for growth, we are all the more likely to experience that growth.”, “By scanning our mental map for positive opportunities, and by rejecting the belief that every down in life leads us only further downward, we give ourselves the greatest power possible: the ability to move up not despite the setbacks, but because of them.”, “People’s ability to find the path up rests largely on how they conceive of the cards they have been dealt, so the strategies that most often lead to Adversarial Growth include positive reinterpretation of the situation or event, optimism, acceptance, and coping mechanisms that include focusing on the problem head-on (rather than trying to avoid or deny it).”, “The people who can most successfully get themselves up off the mat are those who define themselves not by what has happened to them, but by what they can make out of what has happened.”, “Things do not necessarily happen for the best, but some people are able to make the best out of things that happen.”—Tal Ben-Shahar, “When people feel helpless in one area of life, they not only give up in that one area; they often ‘overlearn’ the lesson and apply it to other situations. Here is an idea on how to do just that: every evening write down three positives things that happened to you during the day. You can start with just ten or fifteen minutes a day. But if the Belief has led us down a more pessimistic path, helplessness and inaction can bring negative Consequences. Anticipating future rewards lights up the same pleasure centers that the actual reward will. “In physics, activation energy is the initial spark needed to catalyze a reaction. How we experience the world, and our ability to succeed within it, constantly changes based on our mindset. Here are a few ways of using a signature strength: Our brain cannot hold two feelings and thoughts at the same time. It’s not much different than forming habits and the respective neural pathways in our brains. Who said money can’t buy you happiness? And from then on, he deepened his passion and expertise in the topic of happiness and mental well-being. Even if all that’s happening around us is negative. Take a look at Shawn Achor’s TED Talk, “The Happy Secret to Better Work”, and you’ll know why the happiness advantage is so important… *Fasten your seat belts and turn off every distraction. Belief is our reaction to the event; why we thought it happened and what we think it means for the future. The "Cliff's Notes" of the book are in his entertaining May 2011 TED talk … Try to build a solid network of people around you. I highly recommend that you do. Tal Ben-Shahar calls this “the error of the average.”, “If we study merely what is average, we will remain merely average.”. The winning response is both active and constructive; it offers enthusiastic support, as well as specific comments and follow-up questions.”. If we believe the former—that is if we see the adversity as short-term or as an opportunity for growth or appropriately confined to only part of our life—then we maximize the chance of a positive Consequence. The 20-Second Rule shows how, by making small energy adjustments, we can reroute the path of least resistance and replace bad habits with good ones. The Fulcrum and the Lever teach us how we can adjust our mindset (our fulcrum) in a way that gives us the power (the lever) to be more fulfilled and successful. Brain scans show that putting your negative emotions into words diminishes their power. And now the juicy part. Similar studies reached similar conclusions with adults. Perhaps the most accurate term for happiness is the one Aristotle used: eudaimonia, which translates not directly to “happiness” but to “human flourishing.” ☁️ In the Happiness Advantage, Shawn talks about how happiness is the center around which success orbits. Chasing after success in the hopes of becoming happy once we’ve “made it” doesn’t work. “The typical approach to understanding human behavior has always been to look for the average behavior or outcome.” They become convinced that one dead-end path must be proof that all possible paths are dead ends.”, “A counterfact is an alternate scenario our brains create to help us evaluate and make sense of what really happened.”. To quote the author (I edit for brevity): Our brains are hardwired to perform at their when they are positive. But I had to change my mind: this is one of the best books on positive psychology, including the ones written by actual psychologists. The children primed for happiness completed the tasks both more quickly and with fewer mistakes. Spending money on other people is called ‘prosocial spending,’ and also boosts happiness. By contrast, people who view their work as a career work not only out of necessity but also to advance and succeed. “Psychologists have found that these kinds of gains in productivity, happiness, and health have less to do with how much control we actually have and more with how much control we think we have.”, “The most successful people, in work and in life, are those who have what psychologists call an ‘internal locus of control,’ the belief that their actions have a direct effect on their outcomes.”, “Experiments show that when people are primed to feel high levels of distress, the quickest to recover are those who can identify how they are feeling and put those feelings into words.”, “By tackling one small challenge at a time—a narrow circle that slowly expands outward—we can relearn that our actions do have a direct effect on our outcomes, that we are largely the masters of our own fates.”, “Small successes can add up to major achievements. While scientists once believed happiness was mostly hereditary, today we know that we have far greater control over our emotional states and well-being than previously thought. A lot of deep wisdom here, leveraging solid research. The Happiness Advantage Summary. All it takes is drawing that first circle in the sand.”, William James called creating good habits “daily strokes of effort.”. It is our fulcrum and lever.”, “‘Reality’ is merely our brain’s relative understanding of the world based on where and how we are observing it.”, “So how exactly is it that our relative perception of what is happening, or what we think will happen, can actually affect what does happen? I immediately liked what he presented when he talked about the Cult of the average in psychology. Across the world. ; (2) Do I believe that my employees want to make that effort, just as they want to find meaning and fulfillment in their jobs? This talk was presented to a local audience at TEDxBloomington, an independent event. And they enable us to make and sustain more neural connections, which allows us to think more quickly and creatively, become more skilled at complex analysis and problem solving, and see and invent new ways of doing things.”, “People who put their heads down and wait for work to bring eventual happiness put themselves at a huge disadvantage, while those who capitalize on positivity every chance they get come out ahead.”, “Even the smallest shots of positivity can give someone a serious competitive edge.”, “Happiness is not just a mood—it’s a work ethic.”, “Neuroscientists have found that monks who spend years meditating actually grow their left prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain most responsible for feeling happy.”, “Studies show that in the minutes right after meditating, we experience feelings of calm and contentment, as well as heightened awareness and empathy. We will always have up and down, but we can raise our baseline so that we can enjoy higher highs and higher lows. Remind yourself of the relevant skills you have, rather than those you lack. In 21 days you can rewire your brain to see things more positively. Fittingly, positive psychologist Shawn Achor has a wonderful sense of humor, which is one reason why his TED Talk about the “happiness advantage” has garnered millions of views. “If all you strive for is diminishing the bad, you’ll only attain the average and you’ll miss out entirely on the opportunity to exceed the average.”, “Countless studies have found that social relationships are the best guarantee of heightened well-being and lowered stress, both an antidote for depression and a prescription for high performance.”, “We become more successful when we are happier and more positive.”, “It turns out that our brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative or even neutral, but when they are positive.”. If you work hard, you will become successful, and once you become successful, then you’ll be happy is a broken formula. Research shows that regular meditation can rewire our brain for a permanently higher level of happiness, lower stress, and even improved immune functions. Infuse Positivity Into Your Surroundings. Morgana is a lesbian who came out during this TED talk, but doesn’t want to be defined by that. Because positive brains have a biological advantage over brains that are neutral or negative, The Happiness Advantage teaches us how to retrain our brains to capitalize on positivity and improve our productivity and performance. The Happiness Advantage Summary. Put your negative emotions in writing. However, that doesn’t make it any less effective. The more social support you have, the happier you are. Exercise releases endorphins, but it’s not just a short-term fix. Here to answer these questions is Shawn Achor, Ted Talk speaker, Harvard professor, positive psychology expert and author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work. And, research even shows that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness, lower stress, even improve immune function.”, “One study found people who just thought about watching their favorite movie actually raised their endorphin levels by 27 percent.”, “Anticipating future rewards can actually light up the pleasure centers in your brain much as the actual reward will.”, “A long line of empirical research, including one study of over 2,000 people, has shown that acts of altruism—giving to friends and strangers alike—decrease stress and strongly contribute to enhanced mental health.”, “Pick one day a week and make a point of committing five acts of kindness.”, “Our physical environment can have an enormous impact on our mindset and sense of well-being.”, “Studies have shown that the less negative TV we watch, specifically violent media, the happier we are.”, “Physical activity can boost mood and enhance our work performance in a number of other ways as well, by improving motivation and feelings of mastery, reducing stress and anxiety, and helping us get into flow—that “locked in” feeling of total engagement that we usually get when we’re at our most productive.”, “In his book Luxury Fever, Robert Frank explains that while the positive feelings we get from material objects are frustratingly fleeting, spending money on experiences, especially ones with other people, produces positive emotions that are both more meaningful and more lasting.”. 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