TED TALK MINI RECAP- Positive Psychology
I have a new crush and I’m not alone. Shawn Achor
, one of the most popular professors at Harvard, is one of the pioneers of the field of positive psychology.
His engaging and hilarious TED talk goes into what he calls “the happiness advantage.”
Achor explains that people tend to want to put happiness on the other side of success; once we complete a task, meet a goal, or otherwise attain success, we are allowed to feel content. Seems sensible, like the basis of reward based incentives right?
However, Achor's research indicates that we don’t, in fact, tend to feel long term happiness based on short term successes. Rather, he and others have found that if you begin with a positive outlook, you can actually achieve more in less time and be happier overall.
The central idea is that happiness is not just the product or result of success, but that happiness is a means for attaining success.
That all sounds great. But, it also sort of sounds like saying, “just be happy and you’ll be happy.” And if you aren’t very happy currently, this can seem like a bit of a problem.
The gem of this talk? Achor’s tried and true 5 item list of some daily exercises that can megaboost your positivity.
He recommends doing these things for 21 days in order to rewire your outlook:
- 3 Gratitudes: Write down things new things you are grateful for every day
- Journal about one positive experience you had during the day
- Exercise: some physical activity every day (even just 15 minutes)
- Meditation: constant stimulation and multitasking can make us all a little ADD; meditate in order to focus on just one thing
- Random Acts of Kindness - express gratitude or compliment someone everyday! It can be as simple as writing an email to someone saying thanks or a job well done.
I’ve been doing them for the last week and a half and it feels great! This is one of the most entertaining and interesting TED Talks I’ve seen in a while. Check it out on TED.com