Positive psychology expert Shawn Achor — explained this week on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, “Happiness is the joy we feel on the way to reaching our highest potential, and happiness is a choice. “ I couldn’t agree more. If happiness is defined only by outer goals and events, it will be fleeting, unsatisfying and unsustainable. On the other hand, if you can redefine happiness (and choose to see it) as the feeling you experience as you strive to reach your highest self and highest potential – now that’s something deep, enduring, and enlivening.
Shawn’s extensive research and other recent discoveries in the field of positive psychology have shown that our society’s concept of happiness (work hard and you’ll be successful, and happiness will follow) is completely backward: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around. When we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive at work. This isn’t just fluff. This important discovery has been borne out repeatedly by rigorous research in psychology and neuroscience, management studies, and the bottom lines of organizations around the world.
Shawn teaches how we can – in five easy steps — reprogram our brains to become more positive in order to gain a competitive edge at work and create more success, happiness and reward in our lives. These steps are:
- 1. Bring gratitude to mind – Write down three new things that you are grateful for each day
- 2. Journal – About a positive experience you’ve had recently for 2 minutes once a day
- 3. Exercise – Engage in 15 minutes of mindful cardio activity
- 4. Meditate – Watch your breath go in and out for 2 minutes a day
- 5. Engage in a random, conscious act of kindness – For example, write a 2-minute positive email thanking a friend or colleague, or compliment someone you admire on social media
Do these steps for 21 days, and you will begin to see a lasting shift in your mindset towards more positivity and happiness.
An excerpt from the article “8 Inner Keys to Greater Career Happiness and Success” at Content Loop.