Want to know the secret to better work and a happier life?


“Good things happen to good people, who think good thoughts, have good hearts and do good things.” 

– Kat Kinnie –

I have another awesome TED talk to share with you today, this time from a pretty funny guy and positive psychologist called Shaun Anchor. I have loved this talk since the first time I watched it last year and I think I have re-watched it at least 5 or 6 times since, shared it on Facebook and stuck it on my Onwards and Upwards Pinterest board too.

90% of your happiness is predicted by the way your brain processes the world.

He posits that 90% of your long-term happiness is predicted, not by your external world, but by the way your brain processes the world. And that if we change our formula for happiness and success, we can change the way we affect reality.

Only 25% of job success is predicted by IQ.

He also says that only 25% of job successes are predicted by IQ and that 75% of people’s job success is predicted by their level of optimism, their social support and their ability to see stress as a challenge rather than a threat.

Your brain performs better at positive.

He also says that ‘We’ve pushed happiness over the cognitive horizon as a society. And that’s because we think that we have to be successful and then we’ll be happier. But the real problem is, our brains work in the opposite order. If you can raise someone’s level of positivity in the present, then their brains experience something called a Happiness Advantage, which is that your brain performs better at positive, than negative, neutral or stressed.

The Happiness Advantage – your brain is 31% more productive at positive.

His talk discusses something that he refers to as The Happiness Advantage and the fact that you can train your brain to become more positive in a 2 minute span of time for 21 days in a row. He says that by doing this and creating new positive habits, you can re-wire your brain allowing it to work more optimistically and more successfully.

How to create lasting positive change

  • 3 gratitudes a day – write down 3 things you’re grateful for each day. Your brain starts to scan the world, not for the negative, but for the positive.
  • Journaling 1 positive experience you’ve had in the last 24 hours – this allows your brain to re-live it
  • Exercise – teaches your brain that your behaviour matters
  • Meditation – allows your brain to get over the cultural ADHD we’ve been creating by trying to do multiple tasks at once and allows our brains to slow down and relax.
  • Random acts of kindness – write one positive email a day praising or thanking someone

Shaun says that by maintaining these positive habits every day, for 21 days in a row, and beyond, we can train our brains for positivity and success, just as you can train your body to perform better.

Who would have thought the secret to happiness and success could be as easy as re-training your brain for 2 minutes a day?

Inspiration for this post

Shaun Anchor’s TED talk – The Happiness Advantage – Linking Positive Brains To Performance

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