Monday, 30 April 2012

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Anchor

This weekend we went to a swim meet in Fernie. For this meet the kids all go on a bus together and the parents follow in their vehicles. This means I had about four hours all to myself! It was bliss.

I listened to a book on CD called The Happiness Advantage. It's science behind Art Williams principles of always be positive. One this website it says:

Most people believe that once they become successful, then they'll be happy. But recent discoveries in the field of positive psychology and neuroscience have shown that this formula is actually backward: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around. When we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive at work. This isn’t just an empty mantra. This discovery has been repeatedly borne out by rigorous research in psychology and neuroscience, management studies, and the bottom lines of organizations around the globe.

In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor, who spent over a decade living, researching, and lecturing at Harvard University, draws on his own research—including one of the largest studies of happiness and potential at Harvard and others at companies like UBS and KPMG—to fix this broken formula. Using stories and case studies from his work with thousands of Fortune 500 executives in 42 countries, Achor explains how we can reprogram our brains to become more positive in order to gain a competitive edge at work.

It was really great stuff. His seven principles are:

1. The happiness advantage--the way we can retrain our brains to maximize positivity and provide our the biological advantage needed to optimize our productivity and performance.

2. The fulcrum and the lever--the way we can adjust our mindset (fulcrum) to be able to have the power (lever) to be more fulfilled and successful.

3. The tetris effect--the principle by which we retrain our brains to spot patterns of possibility and opportunity, instead of getting stuck in spotting patterns that focus on negativity.

4. Falling up--how we can not only get ourselves up after failure or suffering, but also become happier and more successful in spite--and because--of the fall.

5. The Zorro circle--the principle by which we can regain control when feeling overwhelmed by focusing on small and manageable goals, and gradually expanding the circle to achieve increasingly bigger ones.

6. The 20 second rule--how we can decrease the "activation energy" of forming new (and healthier) habits by rerouting the path of least resistance.

7. Social investment--the principle by which we can invest more in our social networks, which are one of the greatest predictors of happiness and success.

I started working on this with my class today. I explained to them that I had listened to this book on CD and it said if we write down the great things that happen each day we will find we will have more great things happen. It was heart warming to see the things they wrote down. We are going to continue this!!

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