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Happiness at Work

The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives. ~ William James, Science of Happiness

In a ground-breaking TED talk, psychologist Shawn Achor describes studies of happiness in the workplace and in universities and schools. According to Achor, our external world only predicts 10% of our long term happiness in life. The other 90% is determined by how our brain processes information. “It’s 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” he states.
In his studies of companies and educational institutions in 45 countries he found that the old formula ‘If I work harder I’ll be more successful, then I will be happier’ does not work. Every time we reach a new level of success, we just set the bar higher, so happiness becomes ever elusive. But if you can learn how to be happy in the present moment, your brain will produce dopamine, a chemical that not only creates a feeling of happiness but it also turns on all the learning centers in the brain, allowing you to adapt to the world in a different way. Studies have shown that only 21% of success is directly related to IQ. 75% are related to optimism levels, social support and the ability to see stress as a challenge.
He claims it just takes 2 minutes a day, for a period of 21 days, to rewire your brain with the following daily routine:

1. Gratitude. Each day, before you fall asleep, find 3 things you can be grateful for.
2. Journal. Write your thoughts, feelings and experiences, journal your new insights.
3. Exercise. Move your body every day for 30 minutes. Do something that is fun and energizes you.
4. Meditation. Use meditation techniques or just sit quietly for 10-20 min. each day, breathe, smile, be in your heart.
5. Acts of Kindness. Practice a ransom act of kindness each day. Send an email, praising someone for their good work. Call someone and tell them you love them. Do something nice for a stranger like opening a door.

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Here is the TED talk, enjoy!