This TED talks video is really an eye opener to why some of us are unhappy, even if we managed to achieve our goals by getting a job, money, children, career or moving to a different country.
We all wish we had money but then we know rich people that are deeply unhappy. So what’s the solution?
Shawn Anchor has studied this phenomenon and said that 90 percent of our long term happiness is predicted not by the external world but by the way your brain processes the world. If we change the way we see the world, we change our formula for happiness or success . So, what we can do is change the way that we can then affect reality.
Here’s a simple explanation.
Shawn really opens our eyes to reality. He says that the problem with not acquiring happiness is quite simple.
The issue stands in this. The classic formula for success that we think it’s proper for all of us is this
If I work harder I will be more successful and if I’m more successful than I’ll be happier.
This formula we apply to everything, from our parenting style, to our managing style and how we motivate our behaviour.
So why is this not working?
Simple, because every time you have a success, your brain changes the goal to what success looks like. For example you get good grades and instead of being happier, you want to get better grades. You get a job, next you’ll want a raise and then a promotion. You will not be happy with your current situation and you will always want to achieve more.
“If happiness is on the opposite side of success your brain never gets there.” The problem is that we keep pushing happiness over the horizon and that is because we think we need to be successful to be happier.
So what’s the solution?
The solution is to be happy in the present. To realise what you have in the present and be content with what you have. His research shows that if you become aware of your present happiness, then your brain experiences a happiness advantage which means your brain will perform better, your intelligence will rise, your creativity, energy will improve.
Here’s the interesting thing. Dopamine, the substance that makes us happier, also turns on all the learning centres in the brain.
How can you become more positive? Shawn advises to:
Do random acts of kindness
Have a journal
Here’s his speech