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What I Learned From "The Happiness Advantage: 7 Principles of Positive Psychology"

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In "The Happiness Advantage," renowned positive psychology TED talk speaker Sean Achor explains the definition of positive psychology, why positive psychology is necessary and the seven key positive psychology concepts you can easily start implementing today for radical improvements in your happiness.

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What I Learned From "The Happiness Advantage: 7 Principles of Positive Psychology"

  1. 1. What I Learned From “The Happiness Advantage: 7 Principles of Positive Psychology” Blue Sky Mind
  2. 2. Shawn Achor is the CEO of Good Think Inc., where he researches and teaches about positive psychology. Shawn is the winner of over a dozen distinguished teaching awards at Harvard University, where he delivered lectures on positive psychology in the most popular class at Harvard. About the author
  3. 3. 90% Of happiness is how your mind processes the world. Yet the brain auto-focuses on workload, stresses, and complaints... Rather than being naturally grateful or happy. Why it matters
  4. 4. The brain must be trained. Introducing, the 7 Principles...
  5. 5. 1. The Happiness Advantage Understand It: ● The Big Idea: happiness is at the center, success revolves around it. ● Happiness is defined as pleasure, engagement, meaning ● If your mindset/mood = positive, then you’re smarter, more motivated, & more successful (backed by science) Happiness
  6. 6. 2. The Fulcrum & Lever Understand It: ● Beliefs are powerful, they dictate our actions ● Brain resources are limited, so we must choose positive mindset over negative ● Must continually pursue happiness ● Fixed mindset vs. growth mindset ○ Fixed: “my capabilities are set” ○ Growth: “I can enhance my basic qualities through effort” Exercise: ● Do you have a job, career, or calling? ○ Job: work is for money, apathetic ○ Career: driven to advance and succeed ○ Calling: fulfilling, part of the greater good ● Fundamentally, it doesn’t matter what job you have. It’s all about mindset: ○ Ex: How might a janitor see his job as his calling? He keeps the cafeteria clean so children can have the best learning environment.
  7. 7. 3. The Tetris Effect Understand It: ● We can train our brains to scan for positivity in every situation ○ Ex: If you play Tetris long enough, your brain spots geometric patterns everywhere ● We see what we look for! Do It: ● Hone the skill: find 3 things to be grateful for everyday (“3 Good Things”) “My experience is what I agree to attend to” – William James, psychologist
  8. 8. 4. Falling Up ● Capitalize on your down moments to build upward momentum ● Get good at bouncing back ○ Practice positive reinterpretation of the event ■ View adversity as local & temporary ■ NOT global & permanent ○ Accept the situation ○ Be optimistic ○ Focus on the problem head-on “When we choose to say “poor me” and play the victim, it makes us feel worse”
  9. 9. 5. Zorro Circle Understand It: ● Limit the scope of your efforts to small manageable goals that build outward, gradually conquering more and more ● Start w/ the belief that your behavior matters & controls your future ● The smallest circle of control is self awareness Do it: ● Verbalize stress & helplessness when you feel out of control ● Make two lists: what you can’t control & what you can ○ Focus your energy on what you can control ● Move challenges from the emotional part of your brain to the problem solving part (right --> left)
  10. 10. 6. 20 Second Rule Understand It: ● Common sense is not common action ○ Just because you know something doesn’t mean you’ll act on it ● We are merely a bundle of habits ○ Automatic, low energy requirement ○ Ritual, repeated practice ● Willpower is not the way ○ Willpower weakens the more we use it Do It: ● Make it 20 seconds easier to adopt a good habit ○ Ex: Sleep in your gym clothes ● Make it 20 seconds harder to tap into your vice ○ Ex: Take Facebook off your bookmarks bar
  11. 11. 7. Social Investment Understand It: ● Social relationships are the single greatest investment for a happiness advantage ○ Second to career achievement & income ● Harvard Men study: 70 years evidence that relationships with other people matter more than anything in the world ○ Distinguishes top 10% happiest folks by 0.7 correlation ○ 0.3 is statistically significant Do It: ● During unexpected challenges, hold tight to the people around you ○ Rather than turning inward ● Build out your offensive line ○ Family, friends, colleagues, partner ● Capitalization: share upbeat news with someone ● Respond to the good news of others actively/constructively ○ Not passively, destructively, or ignoring outright
  12. 12. Happiness Strategies
  13. 13. Happiness Strategies// Internal ● Practice “3 Good Things” everyday ● Meditate ● Journal ● Exercise ● Visualize yourself giving a good presentation ● Recall a past presentation when you killed it ● Read a funny Buzzfeed article ● Take a brisk walk ● Prime yourself to expect a favorable outcome, so you actually recognize that outcome when it happens ● Make two lists: what you can’t control & what you can ● Move challenges from the emotional part of your brain to the problem solving part (right to left)
  14. 14. Happiness Strategies// External ● Random acts of kindness ● Verbalize stress & helplessness ● Social investment: ○ Simply reach out to a friend ○ Share upbeat news with someone ○ Be present ● Frequent recognition & encouragement of others ● 6:1 positive to negative comment ratio (Losada Line) ● Pygmalion Effect: when our belief in another person’s potential brings that potential to life ○ Do I believe the people around me can improve? ○ Do I believe they want to make the effort? ○ How am I conveying that in my everyday interactions? ● Invest in more (literally) happy hours with your friends, coworkers, etc.
  15. 15. Happiness is at the center. Success revolves around it.
  16. 16. Invest in your happiness, and success will follow.
  17. 17. The End Do you like quick little book synths like this? Check out the Read section of Blue Sky Mind for more. You can also subscribe to the blog for monthly updates. Or follow along on social: TWTR: @kyleemarie27 IG: @kyleemarie27

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