Linking Positive Brains to Performance

Shawn Achor on happiness and positive psychology.

How do we move from being average? How do we move the average up?

“90% of your happiness is not predicted by your external world but by how your brain processes the external world.”  Shawn Achor.

The implications of this comment for how students perceive school, home and social situations is great. When we look at people and see privilege we often conclude their lives are happy, if they grumble, we ask why, as if they shouldn’t because their world seems so perfect. Yet their happiness is not determined by what we see and how we perceive this but by how they see it and process it. This is another reason why it is important to understand what our students bring to our classrooms and how they view their worlds.

“If happiness is on the other side of success you will never be happy.” Shawn Achor

Not only is the content of this talk relevant for students but for the effectiveness and wellbeing of our staff at school.

If nothing else this talk is extremely funny!


One thought on “Linking Positive Brains to Performance

  1. Nick was spot on. Worth watching. Quite an uplifting talk by an entertaining speaker. With a focus on well-being, happiness and success this would be a good promo clip for why we need to change our thinking to make ourselves happier and appreciate our success more often.
    A good little quote I liked was, “Remembe,r when comparing someone to how “normal” they are at something, normal is just really “average. They should not be satisfied with it and neither should we”.
    The part about goal setting was also good because I do it each term with my students. He highlighted that the problem with linking success to happiness is that when you achieve a goal your brain quickly moves on to setting another goal (like we do at school) and then the pause to reflect and be “happy” is either not there or just a token effort. In this way goal setting can be a motivator but does not impact on happiness much.
    Shawn also talked briefly about a 21 day change to your outlook. Finding 3 gratitudes daily (and sharing them) and doing random (conscious) acts of kindness really do create ripples of positivity. This is important to try to develop in a classroom as well as in a staffroom.

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