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Archive for February 4th, 2012

Gratitude Causes Happiness & Success?

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

I really love the inspiring short speeches which can be found on the TED.com website. TED is a world-reaching organization which presents “Ideas Worth Spreading.”

There are also locally-run partner events called TEDx events. I attended the Lansing one last year, which was incredibly exciting.

I just this week listened to a new TEDx video, which talks about happiness. The speaker, Psychologist Shawn Achor, says that our society has it wrong. We think we should a) work hard, b) succeed, and c) become happy… in that order, with a cause and effect from one to the next.

Achor says that it really works like this: If we are happy, our work becomes more productive and it’s easier to be successful. Happiness can lead to success, in his model.

The speech is less than 13 minutes long and is humorous as well as factual. I highly recommend taking the time to watch it.

The speech’s main downside may be that it’s so funny that you might not see the serious side, the research that is behind his comic delivery. Listen, though, and he does have much to say.


“…what we’re finding that it’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality… and if we can change the lens not only can we change your happiness, we can change every single educational and business outcome at the same time.

“…90% of your longterm happiness is predicted not by the external world but by the way your brain processes the world… and if we change it, if we change our formula for happiness and success, what we can do is change the way that we can then effect reality.”

One of the techniques he mentions for boosting a happier outlook is a gratitude exercise (a practice, if you prefer).

For a period of 21 days, participants write down 3 new things for which they are grateful. In 3 weeks, that adds up to 63 things consciously celebrated with gratitude. By then, a person is tuned into noticing good things in their life.

I’m Game!

I find the grey days of the winter months to be difficult for my best self. Complaining comes more often this time of year.

I think I’ll be trying this exercise. It can only be good… Feeling better about life has no down side.

Today I’m grateful for:
My husband, Brian.
My family.
You, who read these words I share.