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Happiness: How can I get more of it?

I recently watched this video on TED Talks, by Shawn Achor, author of the Happiness Advantage; I suggest you watch it now,  

Shawn’s book is based in Positive Psychology. In essence saying that the lens with which we view the world will determine our future happiness, and thus, success.  


There is a simple message that Achor sends in his work that has had a profound effect on my attitude toward happiness in just the last several weeks.  As Achor says, we are taught that if we are successful we will be happy, when in reality if we are happy we will be successful. This, as I said, simple concept has completely changed how I approach each day. I am the parent of three young daughters, I like many parents before often ask at the end of the day, “How was your day, what did you do today?” completely disregarding their happiness, or the happiness affect that Achor speaks of. Now, I have started asking a different question at the end of each day, “What made you happy today?” The first day I asked my daughters this question, it caught them off-guard.  They paused for a moment, taking the question into consideration, “What does mom want here?” “Is this for real?” Then the answers came, a friend, watching a video in class, lunch, a joke, etc. etc. Not only did they have a great time telling me, and each other about their happiness, I could tell they were enjoying reliving the experience, and in so doing, they were happy about the event all over again.  

If I can impact the success of my children (and everyone else I know) by simply changing a question to focus on happiness, I will do it. Life is full of challenges and serious matters, if happiness really opens up all of the learning centers in the brain, why wouldn’t we spend more time doing just that?  Think of the impact on the world. 

I challenge you, today, do not save happiness for the future; bring it into your world today. Please take Achor’s 21 day challenge to re-set your brain for a happiness focus: Write down three things you are grateful for each day, write a journal entry about a happy experience that you’ve recently had, exercise, meditate, and engage in random acts of kindness. 

Some of these might include, telling someone a joke, enjoying the sunset, taking a walk, telling someone how much you appreciate them, or simply asking, “What made you happy today?” 

Whatever you do, pass it on. 

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