If you have not seen this TED Talk with Shawn Anchor, you are in for a treat.  In this clip, Shawn talks about the new brain science, a new take on ancient wisdom. Research reveals that we can predict only 10% of our happiness from the external circumstances of our current life situation.  In fact, it is the way that our brain processes those external circumstances that accounts for 90% of our happiness.

Our current formula for success in life, school and business is:

work hard ➔ become successful ➔ get happy

The trouble is, this formula doesn't work!  Every time we achieve success, we set a new, bigger, better goal. In this way, happiness stays out of reach, just beyond the horizon.

When we have a positive approach, our brains perform 31% better than when we are in a negative, neutral or stressed state. "Our brains on positive" increase our intelligence, creativity and energy levels. 

We can rewire our brains in two minutes per day.  Shawn recommends:

  • note 3 new things you are grateful for each day, so you can teach your brain to scan for the positive
  • journal one positive experience, allows your brain to relive it
  • exercise because it teaches your brain that your behaviour matters
  • meditate so you can learn to focus on the task at hand
  • engage in conscious acts of kindness.  These can be as simple as a smile, a tidbit of praise or a little courtesy on the road.

The new formula for happy is:

focus on the positive ➔ brain floods with dopamine ➔ dopamine makes you HAPPY ➔ happiness fuels success

All of Shawn's ideas can be found in the work of the Dalai Lama and many other wisdom teachers. Watch the whole talk for his funny stories and engaging presentation.