Yesterday, Oprah welcomed Shawn Achor, author of the international bestseller, The Happiness Advantage, and Before Happiness, to Super Soul Sunday. Throughout the telecast, Shawn shared concepts and strategies from his books and the Happy course he teaches at Harvard. With one out of every six students enrolled, the course is more popular than economics.
According to Shawn, we must define happiness before we can be happy. And therein lies a major obstacle. Most people mistakenly believe happiness will be experienced when goals are reached. Unfortunately, success is a moving target. Shawn urges us to get rid of this scientifically-broken model and redefine happiness in terms of joy. He admits that happiness is an easier choice for some people, but each of us can improve our baselines for happiness by rewiring our brains.
To promote happiness hygiene, Shawn recommends we try the following two-minute habits for 21 days:
When you wake up, come up with three different things for which you are grateful.
Think of one meaningful thing that happened in the last 24 hours and write every detail you can recall about it.
Send a thank-you email, tweet or FB message to one person you know.
Simple meditation–Watch your breath go in and out.
Happiness is the joy we feel striving toward our potential.
Joy is inextricably linked to meaning.
The opposite of happiness is apathy.
Being successful doesn’t make you happier. Being happy makes you more successful.
Happiness is a choice and a practice.
It doesn’t matter if the glass is half-empty or half-full if there is a pitcher nearby to refill it.