When we are stressed or in crisis, however, instead of rising up, too often we shut down. Fail early and often. When you think ‘what if’ or ‘if only I had…’ that’s counterfactual thinking. In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor explains the different responses people have when things go wrong. “Psychologists have found that these kinds of gains in productivity, happiness, and health have less to do with how much control we actually have and more with how much control we think we have.”, “The most successful people, in work and in life, are those who have what psychologists call an ‘internal locus of control,’ the belief that their actions have a direct effect on their outcomes.”, “Experiments show that when people are primed to feel high levels of distress, the quickest to recover are those who can identify how they are feeling and put those feelings into words.”, “By tackling one small challenge at a time—a narrow circle that slowly expands outward—we can relearn that our actions do have a direct effect on our outcomes, that we are largely the masters of our own fates.”, “Small successes can add up to major achievements. Set rules of engagement. A person may imagine how an outcome could have turned out differently, if the antecedents that led to that event were different. Belief is our reaction to the event; why we thought it happened and what we think it means for the future. Is it a problem that is only temporary and local in nature or do we think it is permanent and pervasive? But we’ve had the equation all wrong: Happiness isn’t the result of success—it’s the cause of it.In The Happiness Advantage, author Shawn Achor introduces this formula for success, based on research in neuroscience and the relatively new field of positive psychology. “When we choose a counterfact that makes us feel worse, we are actually altering our reality, allowing the obstacle to exert far greater influence over us than it otherwise should.”, “Decades of subsequent study have since shown that explanatory style—how we choose to explain the nature of past events—has a crucial impact on our happiness and future success.”, “People with an optimistic explanatory style interpret adversity as being local and temporary (i.e., ‘It’s not that bad, and it will get better.’) while those with a pessimistic explanatory style see these events as more global and permanent (i.e., ‘It’s really bad, and it’s never going to change.’).”, “Virtually all avenues of success, we now know, are dictated by explanatory style.”, “One way to help ourselves see the path from adversity to opportunity is to practice the ABCD model of interpretation: Adversity, Belief, Consequence, and Disputation.”, “Adversity is the event we can’t change; it is what it is. “When we are happy — when our mindset and mood are positive — we are smarter, more motivated, and thus more successful” (pg. If we study merely what is average, we will remain merely average. Because counterfacts are invented, we actually have the power in any given situation to consciously select a counterfact that makes us feel fortunate rather than helpless. “Gable’s studies have shown that active-constructive responding enhances relationship commitment and satisfaction, and fuels the degree to which people feel understood, validated, and cared for during a discussion—all of which contribute to the Happiness Advantage.”. Constantly scanning the world for the negative comes with a great cost. All it takes is drawing that first circle in the sand.”, William James called creating good habits “daily strokes of effort.”. Disputation involves first telling ourselves that our belief is just that—a belief, not fact—and then challenging (or disputing) it.”, “Psychologists recommend that we externalize this voice (i.e., pretend it’s coming from someone else), so it’s like we’re actually arguing with another person.”, “When faced with a terrible prospect—for example, the end of a love affair or of a job—we overestimate how unhappy it will make us and for how long.”, “We fall victim to ‘immune neglect,’ which means we consistently forget how good our psychological immune system is at helping us get over adversity.”, “Adversities, no matter what they are, simply don’t hit us as hard as we think they will.”. This content is password protected. Investing in social connections means that you'll find it easier to interpret adversity as a path to growth and opportunity; and when you do have to experience the stress, you'll bounce back from it faster and better protected against its long-term negative effects. Positive emotions also provide a swift antidote to physical stress and anxiety, what psychologists call "the undoing effect." If we believe the former--that is, if we see the adversity as short-term or as an opportunity for growth or appropriately confined to only part of our life--then we maximize the chance of a positive Consequence. “Inattentional blindness”: our frequent inability to see what is often right in front of us if we’re not focusing directly on it. Instead of narrowing our actions down to fight or flight as negative emotions do, positive ones broaden the amount of possibilities we process, making us more thoughtful, creative, and open to new ideas. Thomas Hauge's portfolio site and book notes. When our brains get stuck in a pattern that focuses on stress, negativity, and failure, we set ourselves up to fail. One that keeps circling around where you currently are (i.e., the negative event creates no change; you end where you start). They work because they have to and constantly look forward to the time they can spend away from their job. Speaking Inquiries; Facebook page opens in new window Twitter page opens in new window Linkedin page opens in new window Instagram page opens in new window. Perhaps the most accurate term for happiness is the one Aristotle used: eudaimonia, which translates not directly to “happiness” but to “human flourishing.” ☁️ In the Happiness Advantage, Shawn talks about how happiness is the center around which success orbits. “Happiness is not the belief that we don’t need to change; it is the realization that we can.”. Our power to maximize our potential is based on two important things: (1) the length of our lever--how much potential power and possibility we believe we have, and (2) the position of our fulcrum--the mindset with which we generate the power to change. The winning response is both active and constructive; it offers enthusiastic support, as well as specific comments and follow-up questions.”. Keep going until you get to a result that is meaningful to you. Learning to focus on the better counterfact will lead to a life-long attitude of positivity. Spend money (but NOT on Stuff) 1. ; and (3) How am I conveying these beliefs in my daily words and actions?”, “Constantly scanning the world for the negative comes with a great cost. In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor explains the different responses people have when things go wrong. Our brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative or even neutral, but when they are positive. Falling Up is about finding the mental path that not only leads us up out of failure or suffering but teaches us to be happier and more successful because of it. Lead… When adversity strikes, we all take the opportunity to create our own ‘counterfact’ – an alternative scenario our brains create to help us make sense of it … And, research even shows that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness, lower stress, even improve immune function.”, “One study found people who just thought about watching their favorite movie actually raised their endorphin levels by 27 percent.”, “Anticipating future rewards can actually light up the pleasure centers in your brain much as the actual reward will.”, “A long line of empirical research, including one study of over 2,000 people, has shown that acts of altruism—giving to friends and strangers alike—decrease stress and strongly contribute to enhanced mental health.”, “Pick one day a week and make a point of committing five acts of kindness.”, “Our physical environment can have an enormous impact on our mindset and sense of well-being.”, “Studies have shown that the less negative TV we watch, specifically violent media, the happier we are.”, “Physical activity can boost mood and enhance our work performance in a number of other ways as well, by improving motivation and feelings of mastery, reducing stress and anxiety, and helping us get into flow—that “locked in” feeling of total engagement that we usually get when we’re at our most productive.”, “In his book Luxury Fever, Robert Frank explains that while the positive feelings we get from material objects are frustratingly fleeting, spending money on experiences, especially ones with other people, produces positive emotions that are both more meaningful and more lasting.”. This week we are looking at some of the key lessons of Shawn Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage around how the brain works. Principle #1: The Happiness Advantage “Happiness is the center, and success revolves around it.” – Shawn Achor. Brain scans show verbal information almost immediately diminishes the power of these negative emotions, improving well-being and enhancing decision-making skills. PRINCIPLE #3 THE TETRIS EFFECT. Martin Seligman, the pioneer in positive psychology, has broken happiness down into three, measurable components: pleasure, engagement, and meaning. In the midst of challenges and stress, some people choose to hunker down and retreat within themselves. An expectation of a happy event, like mirthful laughter, causes the same neurons to fire as if the event took place. When adversity strikes, we all take the opportunity to create our own ‘counterfact’ – an alternative scenario our brains create to help us make sense of it … The first goal we need to conquer--or circle we need to draw--is self-awareness. They become convinced that one dead-end path must be proof that all possible paths are dead ends.”, “A counterfact is an alternate scenario our brains create to help us evaluate and make sense of what really happened.”. Yet 70 percent choose to invent a negative counterfact — the story we tell ourselves to make sense of things that happen — instead of a positive one. Your counterfact (you could have been…) determines whether you consider yourself lucky or unlucky. 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