One of my tweetmates (@knittywittywoo) pointed me to a fabulous TED video today which I just had to share with you. It’s entertaining and very informative, do watch if you have a moment. Here it is:
Turns out, it’s kinda about NLP and how we can condition our brains for success, but I really like the spin on it which emphasises happiness and the way we’ve flipped the equation. So, the way we currently think about things is:
“If I work hard I’ll be more successful, if I’m more successful, I’ll be happier.”
This is broken thinking because 1. when we achieve our goals, we move the goalposts – you get good grades, you then want to get to the best university, you hit your sales target, your sales target rises etc. and 2. If happiness is on the other side of success, then you never get there, in fact, we keep pushing it away as our criteria for success get ever more ambitious.
What we actually need to do is to flip this around to:
“If I’m happy, I’ll perform better and have greater success.”
In effect, you’ll realise a “happiness advantage” by raising your happiness levels in the present. Your positive brain will perform much better than a neutral, negative or stressed brain.
I think there are a number of things at work here -
- your positivity makes others feel positive about you so you end up in a positive feedback loop, gaining positive feedback, feeling better about yourself and getting more positive feedback etc
- you start to pick out the positive things that are happening in your world and ignoring or putting less importance on the less positive things
- being positive releases chemicals in the brain (dopomine and adrenaline) which make you more sensitive and open to all sorts of things including learning, excitement and love
You can train your brain to become more positive. There are a number of ways of doing this; Shawn Achor talks about doing the following things:
- 3 gratitudes – I’ve talked about this before in this post. Try to end every day thinking of the good things that have happened that day….. there is always something…. always…. if you can think of three good things, so much the better! Give thanks for the things which are good in your life and you’ll gradually find your attitude to all things changing.
- Journaling – relive one positive thing that happens every day by writing about it. Try not to think too hard but write as a stream of consciousness.
- Exercise – creates positive endorphins which make you feel better.
- Meditiation – helps you focus on one thing and allows you to be calm.
- Random acts of kindness – Do something unexpected and kind at least once a day. Give someone a compliment, give someone a gift, tell someone how much they mean to you.
You’ll be amazed at the results. Do just a couple of these things every day and you will change the way you view your world…… and changing your view, changes your reality….. don’t believe me, give it a go….. oh, and do let me know how you get on.
So, it turns out, that if we forget about success, we might just find ourselves more likely to achieve it!