I love TED Talks. I often listen to one when I’m feeling particularly unmotivated or uninspired and 90% of the time I feel re-energized afterwards. One of the more recent talks I listened to was given by Shawn Anchor about “the happy secret to better work.”
Most of us have grown up listening to the mantra “if I work harder, I will be more successful and my success will lead to happiness.” With that mindset, each time we achieve one goal we automatically re-program ourselves to think about the next goal in order to reach the next level success (and in effect the next level of “happiness”). Shawn suggests that we need to reverse this formula.
His point was that our external world is not predictive of our internal happiness (aha moment!). If we teach ourselves how to process the external world in a positive way, we can directly impact our level of happiness.
Shawn suggested 5 daily tasks that we can implement to train our brain to work more optimistically and in effect, more successfully:
- Write 3 things you are thankful for each day
- Journal and reflect on one positive experience that occurred in the past 24 hours
- Exercise (even if it’s for just a few minutes – stretching counts!)
- Meditate to create a daily sense of calm and focus (we have become too comfortable with overstimulation and multitasking – one thing at a time people!)
- Do one random act of kindness (send someone a kind email for no reason, or pick up the bill for the person’s coffee order behind you – it will make you feel so good, I promise)
This post is perhaps a bit out of the ordinary, but I think that in honor of this year’s Thanksgiving we should challenge one another. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, so I challenge everyone to complete the above tasks each and every day until Thursday November 28 (Thanksgiving!). I will do it too!
Feel free to comment your thoughts and progress below – happy November!
[ photo via Unsplash ]