The Key to Happiness


Happiness in the halls of Community

As we grow up, simple things become boring and we begin the life-long search for happiness. We all strive to find the one thing that makes us happy. We want to go back to the time we first discovered bubbles, and how our world was suddenly complete as we watched these glass balls float up into the sky.

Often, people link their happiness to success. They say, “I’ll be happy if I can ____.” But is that true happiness?

Shawn Achor is the CEO of Good Think Inc., where he researches and teaches about positive psychology. “Every time your brain has a success, you just changed the goalpost of what success looked like. You got good grades, now you have to get better grades. You got into a good school and after you get into a better school, you got a good job, now you have to get a better job. You hit your sales target, we’re going to change your sales target. And if happiness is on the opposite side of success, your brain never gets there. What we’ve done is we’ve pushed happiness over the cognitive horizon as a society. And that’s because we think we have to be successful, and then we’ll be happier.”

 Achor has found a way to train the brain to be more positive. Under this training, two minutes, for twenty-one days 98% of those who tried it felt happier. First, write down three new things that you’re grateful for, everyday for the twenty-one days. The brain will start to retain a pattern of scanning the world, not the negative, but for the positive first. Second is to write down one positive experience you’ve had over the past 24 hours. This allows your brain to relive it and teaches your brain that your behavior matters. The third is meditation. This allows the brain to get over the cultural ADHD that we have created and allows your brain to focus on one thing. The fourth thing is doing random acts of kindness. Anything you can do, big or small, could make someone’s day.

 “By doing these activities and by training your brain just like we train our bodies, what we’ve found is we can reverse the formula for happiness and success, and in doing so, not only create ripples of positivity, but create a real revolution,” Achor reports.

 In the halls of Community, teenagers are able to find happiness in non-extravagant ways. Monica Nedeltchev believes that she is happy when others are happy around her. Adlai Reihnart finds happiness in music. At another extreme, Graehm Fazio places his happiness in the hands of his success.

 “I haven’t really found success yet. But the gratification of starting something challenging and finishing it makes me feel good about myself. And that’s when I’m happy.” Fazio said.

Achors brain training is designed to help you live a more positive, happy life. When you sit back and think about what makes you happy, what do you say? Do you have to think about it or does it immediately come to mind? What really makes you happy? More importantly, could you be happier?