By Brittany Gebben

I recently watched a TED talk given by psychologist, Shawn Achor, that was fast-paced and hilariously inviting while covering an interesting concept.  Achor focuses on the idea that it is not necessarily the external world that shapes our happiness but instead, it’s the lens through which our brain views the world or how our brain processes those external events.

Our brains are trained to believe that happiness follows success, however Achor believes we have this thought process backward and explains that happiness inspires us to be more productive. He states that the human brain is 31% more productive and thus, successful, when it’s happy. Based on this concept, if we can increase the positivity in the present, the effect will be optimistic, efficient, successful and more intelligently, harder working employees.

Achor also explains that only 25% of job success is determined by IQ and the other 75% is by optimism level, social support and the ability to see stress as a challenge instead of a threat.

How can we change the lens through which we view the world? Achor provides us with techniques to train our brains to become more positive:
Gratitudes (three new gratitudes each day for 21 days in a row)
Journaling (one positive experience each day allows the brain to relive it)
Random Acts of Kindness

According to Shawn Achor, if we can change the lens through which we view the world, this shift in perception will allow us to scan the world not for negative, but for the positive first ultimately leading to greater success.

View Shawn’s TED talk here: