I am a Happiness Enthusiast
As a happiness enthusiast, my ultimate goal in life is to spread happiness to others and help others realize their own happiness potential and in turn, spread their happiness to the world. I call this Operation Happiness: Which, is my plan to take over the world, one happy person at a time. My plan will ultimately work. By getting others to understand that happiness is an attitude and that to truly be happy, you must find contentment in the world and within yourself, but that is for a different blog. :)
This blog is about the happiness advantage which I completely stole. During my quest to find research on how to take over the world, one happy person at the time, I came across this wonderful TED Talk
by Shawn Achor, titled “The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance”
. I shared this my co-wizards, and they loved it so much I decided to do what everyone does now –BLOG! In honor of Shawn's TED Talk I chose this crazy blog title and had a bit of fun with the camera (hope you enjoy the pics.)
Why Our Brains are Unhappy and Fried
In today’s society, most people believe that once you earn success or work hard at something that it will yield true happiness. However, is this really true? Have you ever thought to yourself, “Once I get through college I will be happy?” Then after college you think “Once I get my first professional job, I will definitely find happiness.” Only these thoughts simply take you to your next goal and then the next. You never really find that day where you say to yourself, “Man, I made it, I am finally happy!” Of course, this doesn’t mean that we don’t find some joy and feeling of accomplishment after we achieve life successes, but it does seem that as humans we keep striving to find happiness after we meet our successes. Therefore, do we ever really find true happiness? And, are we really keeping our minds in a positive state? Also, does this come with a cost? If we constantly tell our brains to keep striving for the next goal, in order to "be happy", does our conscious mind ever really get to a positive place and enjoy success or is it always in a negative crisis/stress mode? What if we linked our brains to happiness in the present and enjoyed positive thinking and the benefits that this way of living offers? Could we get the positive juices flowing in our brain if we changed how we viewed a success? I believe we can. The happiness advantage helps to reverse the way we think about our definition of happiness and it helps to change our whole life outlook.
The "Happiness Advantage" Defined
So, what is this elusive unicorn of happiness that I speak of? The "Happiness Advantage" is achieved when your brain performs significantly better in a positive state, than when it is in a negative, neutral, or stressed state. Positive thinking raises your intellect, creativeness, and energy levels. Therefore, business decisions have a better success rate when you are operating in the happiness advantage zone. Shawn’s research showed that your brain will perform 33% better when approaching a task with positive thinking. Also, when you are happy, dopamine floods your system which turns on all the functions in your brain. Thereby, continuing to raise the positivity in your brain and helping you perform significantly better.
Getting to Happy
How do we find a way to stay positive in the present and raise our overall positivity? Well, my momma said that, “Happiness is an attitude and if you don’t like your life change it”. I am a big believer in this philosophy, and I believe 90% of our happiness is how we perceive life and outcomes in life. We just need to re-teach our brains how it should perceive happiness. In Shawn’s video he provides exercises on how to reverse how we perceive happiness and thus create the happiness advantage. In these exercises, he recommends doing a 21-day happiness challenge. I recommended this challenge to my co-wizards and asked them the following in an effort to peak their interest.
Do you want to raise your intellect, creativeness, and energy levels? Would you like to be able to make smarter and better business decisions? Well, if you do, I invite you to join me and my co-wizards
as we embark on this 21-day Happiness Challenge adventure. Your brain will thank you!
For the next 21 days, perform the following five tasks daily.
21-Day Happiness Challenge
- Think of three new things you are grateful for - this will help you appreciate the small and great things in life.
- Write down one positive thing that happens to you each day - this will help your brain relive it and get the positive juices flowing.
- Exercise - this teaches your brain that behavior matters.
- Meditate - this helps your brain focus on one thing (in our ADHD world this is very helpful.)
- Perform random acts of kindness - this could be a simple act. For example, give someone on your social network a nice comment, buy a co-worker a coffee, send a nice, thoughtful email to a co-worker.