The Happy Secret to Better Work - Shawn Achor Summary

Nov 11, 2013 -

Secret to Happiness is in the Glasses You View Life Through

Most of us look to change our outer circumstances in order to find happiness. We believe that if we have certain things will will be happy. For myself, I feel as if I can just get that dream home, find that significant other, and get that dream car, I will be happy. However, it is actually how your brain processes the world that is the primary driver in your long-term happiness. In fact, 90% of your long term happiness is not predicted by the external world.

Therefore, if we can change our formula for happiness and success, what we end up doing is changing the way we then affect reality.

Did you know that 25% of your job success is predicted by I.Q.? The other 75% of job successes are predicted by your optimism levels, your social support, and ability to see stress as a challenge instead of as a threat.

Growing up, it is ingrained in our minds that the harder we work the more successful we will be. The more successful we are, the happier we will be. These concepts are the underlying concepts in our parenting styles, managing styles, and the motivation behind our behaviors.

Every time your brain experiences success, you just change your goal post of what success looked like. You got good grades, now you have to get better grades, you got into a good school and after you get into a better school, you got a good job, now you have to get a better job, you hit your sales target, you're going to change your sales target. And if happiness is on the opposite side of success your brain will never get there.

Brain works in opposite fashion, happier you are the better you work. Higher levels of positivity in your brain results in a higher level of performance compared to when you are negative, neutral, or stressed. Your brain is 31% more productive when positive than when in any of the previous three states.

You can train your brain to be more positive to think more optimistically and work more successfully.

Here are four ways to do the below.

1) Journaling about one positive experience you've had over the past 24 hours lets you relive it.

2) Exercise teaches your brain that your behavior matters

3) Meditation allows the brain to get over trying to multitask and lets your brain focus on one task at hand

4) Random acts of kindness are conscious acts of kindness - Write one positive e-mail praising or thanking someone in their social support network

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