Written by: Joshua Gayman
90% of our long term happiness is predicted not by the external world that we live in, but by the way our brain processes the world. If we change our formula for happiness and success, what we can do is change the way that we can then effect our reality.
25% of job success is predicted by IQ.
75% of job success is predicted by optimism levels, social support levels, and ability to see stress as a challenge, instead of a threat.
The absence of disease is not health.
Our society(schools and companies, parenting styles, management styles, motivation styles, news, etc..) operates as tho:
“If I work harder then I will be more successful, and if I am more successful, then I will be happier.”
This is broken and backwards for 2 reasons:
- Every time your brain has a success, you just changed the goal post of what success looks like. IE: You got good grades, now you have to get better grades. You got into a good school, now you need to get into a better school. You got a good job, now you got to get a better job. You hit your sales target, we’re going to change your sales target.”*If happiness is on the other side of success, your brain never gets there. We think if we have been successful that we will be happier, but we keep ourselves from ever getting to that state.
- Our brain works in the opposite order. If we can raise our level of positivity in the present, then our brain experiences a “happiness advantage.” Which means our brain at positive, performs significantly better than it does at negative, neutral, or stressed. Our intelligence rises, our creativity rises, our energy level rises. In fact, every single business outcome improves. Our brain at positive is 31% more productive than our brain at negative, neutral or stressed. We are 37% better at sales. Doctors are 19% faster, more accurate at coming up with a correct diagnosis when positive versus negative, neutral, or stressed.
***By becoming positive in the present, our brains work even more successfully, because they are able to work harder, faster, and more intelligently. This means we need to reverse the formula if we want to find out what our brains are actually capable of.
Dopamine floods into your system when you are positive. This has 2 functions:
- It makes you happier.
- It turns on all of the learning centers in your brain, allowing you to adapt to the world in a different way
*You can train your brain to become more positive.
In 2 minutes for 21 days in a row, you can re-wire your brain to work more optimistically and more successfully.
Write down 3 new things that you are grateful for over 21 days. After 21 days, your brain starts to retain a pattern of scanning the world for the positive and not the negative. Journaling about one positive experience that you have had over the past 24 hours allows for your brain to relive it. Excersize teaches your brain that behavior matters. Meditation allows the brain to get over the cultural ADHD that we’ve been creating by trying to do multiple tasks at once, and allows us to focus on the task at hand. Random and conscience acts of kindness praising or thanking someone in their social support network. (1 per day)
By doing these activities, you are training your brain just like we train our bodies, we can reverse the formula for happiness and success.
*Stats based on study at Harvard University.