I’m really into happiness. But before I talk more about that, I need for you to do me a favor, and watch this twelve and a half minute TED Talk by Shawn Achor. Once you finish, I’ll discuss dopamine with you.
Amazing, right? I can’t stop thinking about this talk, and its broader implications for me, and for anyone else who cares to join me. Here’s what Shawn said:
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.
Shawn suggested the only way to “change the lens” is by reversing this formula: If I work harder, I’ll be more successful, and if I’m more successful, then I’ll be happier. We need to stop placing our happiness just out of reach.
So how do we permanently raise the positive in our lives? By becoming positive in the present! Shawn recommends the following:
- Identify 3 New Gratitudes daily to scan the world for positive, and not negative.
- Journal daily about one positive experience you’ve had in the past 24 hours.
- Regular exercise teaches your brain that your behavior matters.
- Meditation allows us to get over the “cultural ADHD” we’ve been creating by trying to do multiple tasks at once, and by focusing on the task at hand.
- Deliberately perform Random or Conscious Acts of Kindness once a day.
Our brains are 31% more productive at positive, than they are at neutral or negative! To create this kind of lasting positive change in our lives, we need to flood our systems with dopamine, which is a natural compound that acts as a neurotransmitter, and when we are positive, dopamine floods our system, generating two reactions:
- We are happier
- All the learning centers in our brains are ignited, allowing us to adapt to the world differently
Shawn suggests that these retraining exercises, particularly the first two, take just minutes a day, and he says we must be consistent for 21 consecutive days in order for our behaviors to change long-term. So, who’s with me?
My commitment is to start today, and to share my daily journal with each of you for 21 days, in the hopes that you will share your daily journal with me – right here on the website. Let’s create a community of positivity! Who’s with me?