I recently listened to a TED talk by psychologist Shawn Achor. In his talk, Achor argues that so many of us equate happiness with success — and in doing so, we create a scenario where we’ll never be satisfied. We’ll never be satisfied because we’re always moving the goalpost of success. Get an amazing job — now you want a better job. Get a promotion — now you want an even bigger one. Get into an amazing school — now you want to get even better grades. Not that any of those things are bad — the problem, however, lies in tying our happiness to those successes.
To find success, we have to do the opposite — find ways to be positive, and success will come from that. When we’re happy, we’re more productive, we’re better communicators, we’re more supportive — the list goes on.
Sean outlines five simple things we can do to create more positivity in our lives and recommends doing them for 21 days straight.
- 3 gratitudes: Write three new things you’re grateful for each day
- Journaling: Write one positive experience you’ve had in the last 24 hours and you’ll soon start looking for the positive in things vs. the negative
- Exercise: This teaches us that our behaviors matter
- Mediation: Helps us get over the cultural ADHD we have from doing multiple tasks at once
- Random Act of Kindness: Once a day, email someone in your social support network and thank them
I’m starting day one today and will check back in once I’ve gone 21 days straight.