A Positive and Engaged Mind Is One of Your Best Advantages
Hey! It's a great day. And I'm excited to send you this newsletter.
I learned something last week that has really changed the way I think about happiness.
It started with a podcast episode that I found myself listening to four times. That's abnormal for me.
Shawn Achor, a happiness researcher at Harvard (and then all throughout the world) talks about the Ancient Greek definition of happiness.
Happiness is the joy you feel moving toward your potential.
Just let that soak in.
This small set of words says a lot.
In the modern world, pleasure is often strongly associated with happiness. The problem with pleasure is that is extremely short lived.
Pleasure is your brain saying, "Ooh, yeah. I like that. I want more of whatever made me feel good." It's fleeting. Whether it's pizza or money, it will only satisfy for a moment, and then you're brain wants more.
Joy kicks pleasure's butt when it comes to longevity. Joy can be sustained for long periods of time. And you can experience joy during difficult, even painful situations.
Child birth, running a marathon, working late into the night for months to start your business are all low pleasure, high joy events.
So joy is pretty awesome.
And Shawn talks about a lot of research that shows that a positive mind gives every measurable business metric a boost, such as productivity, creativity, collaboration, etc.
My favorite study is what really through me for a loop. Students were asked, if they were positive and optimistic or if they were pessimistic, yet resilient. Then they were told that if they could count the number of photos in a newspaper, they would be given $5.
The students tore through the newspaper counting every photo. But on the second page of the paper, in big bold letters, it said IF YOU STOP THE EXPERIMENT NOW, WE WILL GIVE YOU $50!
80% of the positive minded people stopped and got their $50. And only 20% of the pessimists stopped early. Eye tracking was used and saw that they all saw the words, but the negative mind deleted the opportunity from their brain.
This was a big deal for me to hear. I identify with being an optimist, but there many times when I let myself slip into frustration and doubt and I can get really negative about my circumstances. And it's true, when I'm negative, I don't see the same kinds of opportunities that I would my brain was positive focused.
I've already seen a shift in the way I react to negative situations. It's because I now understand how nefarious a negative mind can be.
I know this isn't specifically motion design related, but it made such a positive impact on my outlook on life, that I felt compelled to share it with you.
Happiness is a mindset. It's a choice. And happiness is also an advantage.
You should go listen to this EntreLeadership episode for yourself. There is a lot more good stuff packed in there than what I wrote about. It's definitely worth a listen (or 2 or 3 or 4). *Note: I only listened to the first half where Shawn was being interviewed. Haha. I never made it to the other interview because I kept starting over to hear Shawn's interview again.
If you listen to the episode, and you like the second interview, let me know. Maybe I'll make it all the way to the end next time ;)