Sorry I haven’t written lately, but I am in Cancun right now and I just HAD to write and tell you guys about the speaker I heard yesterday.
Day 1 of the personal development conference I’m attending was absolutely phenomenal.
Shawn Achor is a young hot professor who teaches a course on Happiness at Harvard. (Huh? That’s what I said. When they first launched this course, there were over 1200 people who showed up on day 1. Pretty impressive since the average enrollment for a class is 30 students)
Shawn has performed and studied extensive research on happiness, in a test-able, scientific capacity, and the results were absolutely extraordinary.
I was blown away, and I’ve seen HUGE speakers at these things — Bob Proctor, Lynne McTaggart (from down the rabbit hole), Bill Phillips (the creator of Body for Life), etc. I’d never heard of this guy until yesterday
Here are some cool points I learned during his entertaining, informative and fascinating presentation yesterday:
1 – In order to be effective, gratitude journals do not have to be long or elaborate. Simply taking 45 seconds a day to list 3 things you’re grateful for, and doing this for 21 days straight, can have a LASTING impact on your level of happiness, AND can create a significant change in the makeup of your brain’s neural net (mental re-wiring).
2 – taking time to make a phone call, a visit, or write a letter, to thank someone (living) who you feel you owe a debt of gratitude — any ideas how long this can single one-time act impact your baseline “happiness factor” ? SIX MONTHS! Now THAT is what I call a lasting impression. Imagine being significantly happier and all you did was sincerely thank TWO people per year who made a positive impact on your life.
3 – If you stick a pen in your mouth (sideways, gripping the pen in the middle iwth your teeth), you get the EXACT same mental benefits as SMILING. Your brain does not interpret — when the corners of your mouth turn up, the same areas used in smiling will light up in your brain. What a great trick! So any time you don’t feel like smiling, why not stick a pen in your mouth? It’s a double-benefit, you won’t have to worry about saying something you’ll regret later…
4 – Shawn also explained why “scientifically” another person can actually CHANGE and TRANSFORM, simply when we change our expectations and beliefs about them. I knew this worked (from my training with Landmark Education) but I never really understood WHY. Fascinating stuff. Here’s one example: a study was done where a teacher was given a class of new students (very young, sorry I can’t recall the exact age), and the teacher was told that all the students were tested and 3 students had tested exceptionally high, like, off the charts. But the students were NOT told this, the teacher was NOT to tell these students, and she was to treat all students the same. They video’d here to ensure she did not tell the students about the tests. At the end of the study, they watched the videos to ensure she had not told the students anything (she hadn’t) and that she had treated all students equally (she had). Can you guess which 3 students outperformed the rest of the pack by the end of the study?
Now here’s the interesting part. What was told to the teacher was not true. ALL the students tested about the same, and they were ALL slightly below average. No 3 were exceptional.
Consider the ramifications of this —
We can all see that if a child is told they are special, intelligent, beautiful, gifted, etc., they were surely take on those characteristics. But what if just 1 influential person in that child’s life BELIEVES those things, even though they never say it to anyone, including the child, the mere belief is enough to impact the outcome.
Holy crap! That’s amazing!! (Can you see why I LOVE attending these conferences?)
5 – You CAN raise your baseline happiness, and people who choose to do this expeirence better job stability, better careers, better relationships, are 3x more creative and have less stress. I know that seems obvious, right? Yet still worth mentioning.
6 – If you think of your happiest memory prior to completing a task (doing a puzzle, solving a problem, working, etc.), you can expect to complete that task TWICE as fast as if you had begun the task from a neutral state. It’s called “priming for happiness” and it works on children, adults, people of all ages.
Those are the ones I’m thinking of off the top of my head. To my knowledge this guy doesn’t have a book, or any products, but if you want more info, you can research the “Positive Psychology” movement to learn more about Shawn Achor.
And to learn more about a business that can put you in front of extraordinary speakers and transformational information, in a community of like-minded people from across the globe, click here to learn more.
QoD: What could you do TODAY to increase your personal happiness? Will you do it?
Go for it!