We were taught to work hard, get a good job, make money, retire and be happy. Turns out this is all backwards. Learn the happiness advantage
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1. The happiness advantage
Happiness is positive emotions that help us get a chemical advantage of dopamine and serotonin inside her brain.
This helps us organize new information, keep that information in our brain longer, and retrieve it faster later on. It also helps us make neural connections, think more creatively, and do more problem-solving, and invent new ways of doing things.
We also tend to perceive more of the world around us when we are happy.
Offering doctors a lollipop before a diagnosis allowed them to come to the correct diagnosis in half the time as the control group.
We can increase our happiness by meditating, finding something to look forward to, acts of kindness, positivity in our surroundings, spending money, exercising a strength.
2. The Fulcrum and Lever
Archimedes said “give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world” The length of the lever is how much positivity we have and the position of the fulcrum is the mindset which we generate the power to change
In medicine placebos are about 55 to 60% as affective as most medications like aspirin for and codeine for controlling pain.
Japanese researchers blindfolded a group of students and told them the right arms were being rubbed with a poison ivy plant interestingly all 13 reacted with classic symptoms of poison ivy itching boils and redness which is not surprising until you find out the plan used for the study it wasn’t poison ivy at all it was just a harmless shrub.
Even the smallest tasks can be in viewed with greater meeting when they connected to personal goals and values the more we can align our daily tasks with our personal vision the more likely we are to see work as a calling.
Fold a piece of paper in half on the left column right all the task that you hate doing draw an arrow to the right as to why you are doing that that will really change your attitude towards the boring tasks.
3. The Tetris Effect
The sculptor Pygmalion could look at a piece of marble and see the sculpture trapped inside of it, he had a vision of his ideal hopes and desires and even the name of the woman he would be starting.
When our belief in another persons potential brings that potential to life it is called the Pygmalion affect. Our brain is an amazing spam filter. Scientists estimate that we remember only one of every hundred pieces of information we receive.
When our brains constantly scan for and focus on the positive we grow in happiness, gratitude, and optimism.
Participants who wrote down three good things each day for a week were happier and less depressed at the one month, three months, and six month follow ups.
This doesn’t mean we need to be blind to everything that is bad, we need to have a reasonable, realistic, and healthy sense of optimism. Use positivity to help us see what is really going on in the world.
4. Fail Forward
capitalizing on the downs to build upward momentum.
After every crisis or adversity there are three paths we can take:
No change, we focus on the negative and things get worse, or we focus on the positive and this leads to growth.
After the March 2004 train bombings in Madrid psychologist found residents who experienced post traumatic growth. That is, enhanced personal strength and self-confidence, heightened appreciation for and greater intimacy in their social relationships. Also increases in spirituality, compassion for others, openness, and even overall life satisfaction.
What determines the path was how they conceived of the cards that they had been dealt. Some side as a blessing that they are still alive and he called to enjoy every moment while others sign as a tragedy.Early failure is often the fuel for the very ideas that eventually transform industries, make record profits, and reinvent careers.
Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor for not being creative enough. The Beatles were turned away by air record executive who told them that guitar groups are on their way out.
I felt the same for my experiences with chemistry in University. I had broken more glassware than I paid in tuition. This really impacted my mindset and made me less likely to experiment with chemistry.
It also led me to take computer science as a field that I perceived as safe to make mistakes with less consequence.
5. Focus on Small Goals
In the mask of Zorro a young and impetuous Alejandro has a quest to write the injustices of the world
He wants to do so immediately and spectacularly, the higher he flies the father he falls and soon he feels out of control and utterly powerless.
By the time that aging sword master Don Diego meeting Alejandro is a broken man a slave to drinking and despair.
He promises Alejandro that mastery and trying to come with dedication and time
He begins Alejandro’s training by drawing a circle in the dirt hour after our Alejandro is forced to fight only within the circle. As Don Diego says “this circle will be your world. Your whole life. Until I tell you otherwise, there is nothing outside of it. “
Once Alejandro masters control of the Small circle, Don Diego allows him to try greater and greater feet which one by one he achieves. But none of these achievements would ever have been possible have you not first learned to master that small circle.
Before that moment, Alejandro had no command over his own emotions no sense of his own skill, no real faith in his ability to accomplish a goal, and worst of all no feeling of control over his own feet. Only after he masters that first circle does he start to become Zorro, the legend.
6. How to turn bad habits into good ones
We are merely bundles of habits. I think the book “The One Thing” helps explain this concept very clearly. What is the one thing that you can do that will make everything else in your life easier.
Our willpower depletes overtime so that’s why it’s important to get your one thing done first in the morning
By moving the TV remote upstairs and keeping books near the living room adding 20 seconds to a D can gain you back three hours
Sleeping in your gym clothes makes it easier to do exercise in the morning