“Scientifically, happiness is a choice. It is a choice about where your single processor brain will devote its finite resources as you process the world. If you scan for the negative first, your brain literally has no resources left over to see the things you are grateful for or the meaning embedded in your work. But if you scan the world for the positive, you start to reap an amazing advantage.
When we stop studying the average and begin researching positive outliers — people who are above average for a positive dimension like optimism or intelligence — a wildly different picture emerges.
Training your brain to be positive at work is just like training your muscles at the gym. Sounds simple, right? Well, think about how easy it is to make yourself go to the gym. The key with any new resolution is to make it a habit. New research on neuroplasticity — the ability of the brain to change even as an adult — reveals that moderate actions can rewire the brain as you create “life habits.”
The greatest cultural myth in modern society is that we cannot change. My research proves that you can not only become more positive, but if you prioritize happiness in the present, you can reap an extraordinary advantage.”
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Shawn Achor.