B1 Intermediate US 16411 Folder Collection
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when I was 7 y/o & my sister was just 5 y/o, we were playing on top of a bunk bed
I was 2 years older than my sister at that time, I mean I'm 2 years older than her now, But
At that time, that meant she had to do every thing that I wanted to do & wanted to play war
so we were up on top of our bunk beds & on one side of the bunk bed I put out all my GIJoe soldiers & weaponry &
on the other side were all my sisters milos & ponies& ready for a cavalry charge
There are different account of what actually happened that afternoon & since my sister is not here with us to day,
let me tell you the true story Which is my sister is a little bit on the clumsy side
&somehow without any help or push from her older brother at all, suddenly Amy disappeared off of the top of the bunk bed &
Landed with this crash on the floor Now, I nervously peered over the side of the to see
What have befallen my fallen sister & saw that she landed painfully on her hands & knees
on all fours on the ground I was nervous because my parents have charge me with
making sure that my sister & I played as safely & quietly as possible & seeing as how I'd accidently broken Amy's arm just one week before;
heroicly pushing her out of the way of an uncoming imaginary sniper bullet
for which i have yet to be thanked,
I was trying as hard as i could-/she didn't even see it coming/- Iwas trying as hard as i could to be on my best best behaviour
& I saw my on sister's face's wail in pain & suffering & surprise threatening to erupt from her mouth
& threatening to wake my parents from their long winter's nap for which they had setteled
so I did the only thing my little frantic 7yo brain could think to do to avert this tragedy
& if you have children you've seen this hundred's of times before I said:Amy, Amy WAIT! don't cry, don't cry
did you see how you landed? no human lands on all fours like that
Amy, I think this means you are a Unicorn
now, that was cheating 'cause there's nothing in the world my sister would want more than not to be Amy the hurt 5yo little sister but
Amy the special Unicorn Of course; this was an option that was open to her brain at no point in the past
& you could see at my poor manipulated sister's face conflict as her little brain attempted to devote resources to feeling
the pain & suffering & surprise she's just experienced or contemplating her newly found identity as a Unicorn
& the latter one won ,instead of crying, istead of ceasing our play, instead of waking my
parents with all the negative consequances the would have been sued for me
instead; a smile spread across her face &she scrambled right back up on the the bunk bed
with all the grace of a baby unicorn
with one broken leg
what we stumbled across- at this tender age of just 5&7 we had no idea that time- was something that is going to be
the vangaurd of a scientific revolution occuring 2 decades later in the way that we look at the human brain
What we've stumbled across is something called positive psychology , which is the reason that I'm here today
& the reason that I wake up every morning
when i first started to talk about this research outside of Acadamia ,at companies & schools
the very first thing they said to never do is to start my talk with a graph the very first thing I want to do is start my talk with a graph
This graph looks boring but this graph is the reason that i get excited & wake up every morning
&this graph doesn't even mean anything, it's fake data what we found is:
if I've got this data backsetting you here in the room I would be thrilled because there is clearly a trend that is going on there &
that means that i could get published which is all that really matters
The fact that there is one weird red dot outside above the curve: there is one weird in the room, you know who you are , i saw you earlier
That's no pro(ble)m That's no prom as most of you know because I can just delete that dot
I can delete that dot because it's clearly a measurement error & we know that's a measurement error because it's messing up my data
so one of the very first things we teach people in economics & statistics & business & psychology courses
how in a statistically valid way do we eliminate the weirdos how do we eliminate the outliers
so that we could find the line of best fit which is fantastic if I'm trying to find out how many Advil that average person should be taking? 2
but if I'm interested in potential,if I'm interested in your potential for happiness or productivity or energy or creativity
what we are doing is recreating the cult of the average for science if I ask you a question like;
how fast can a child learn to read in a classroom? scientists change the answer to how fast does the average child learn how to read in that classroom
& then we tailor the class right towards the average now if you fall below the average on this curve ;
then psychologists get thrilled,because that means you're either depressed or you have a disorder or hopefully both
we're hoping for both because our business motto is; if you come into a therapy session with one problem
we wanna make sure you leave knowing you have 10, so you'll keep coming back over & over again, we'll go back into your childhood if necessary
but eventually what we want to do is make you 'normal' again but 'normal' is merely average
& what I posit & what positive psychology posits is that if we study what is merely average, we will remain merely average
Then instead of deleting those positive outliers, what I intentionally do is come to a population like this one &say why?
why is it that some of you are so high above the curve in terms of your intellectual ability, athletic ability, musical ability, creativity,
energy levels, your reseliance in the fance of challenge, your sense of humour?
what ever it is, instead of deleting you, what i wanna do is study you
'cause maybewe can glean in information not just how to move people up to the average, but how we can move the entire average up at our companies & schools worldwide
the reason this graph is so important to me is when i turn on the news, it seems like
the majority of the information is not positive in fact it's negative
most of it is about murdur, corruption, diseases, natural disasters &very quickly, my brain starts to think:
that's the accurate ration of negative & positive in the world what that is doing is creating something called medical school syndrome
which if you know people who've been to medical school, during the first year of medical training,
as you read through a list of all the symptoms & diseases that could happen, suddenly you realize you have all of them
I have a brother in law named Bobo which is a whole another story
Bobo married Amy the unicorn Bobo called me on the phone from Yale medical school &
Bobo said:Shawn, I have Leprosy Which even at Yale is extraordinarily rare
but I had no idea how to console poor Bobo, because he had just gotten over an entire week of menopause
See: what we are finding is: not necessarily the reality that shapes us, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality
&if we can change the lens, not only can we change our happines, we can change every single education & business outcome at the sametime
when i applied to Harvard, I applied on a dare I didn't expect to get in &my family had no money for college
When I got a military scholarship 2 weeks later, they allowed me to go suddenly something wasn't even a possibility became a reality
when i went there I assumed every one else would see it as a privilege as well That they'd be excited to be there. even if you are in a classroom
full of people smarter than you, 'you'd be happy just being in that classroom'
which is what i thought but what I found there is while some people experienced that
when I graduated after my 4 years & spent the next 8 years living in the dorms with the students
-Harvard asked me to , I wasn't that guy- but what happened
I was an officer at Harvard who'd counsel students through the difficult 4 years & what I found in my research &my teaching
is that these students, no matter how happy they were with the original success of geting into the school,
2 weeks later their brains were focused not on the privilege of being there, nor on the philosophy or their physics,
their brains focus on the competition, the work load, the hassels, the stresses, the complaints
When I first went in there I walked into the freshmen dining hall which is where my friends -from Waco Texas where I grew up,
I know some of you have heard of it- when they come to visit me they look around. They say:
this freshmen dining hall looks like something out of Hogworts in the movie Harry Potter
which it does 'cause that's Hogworts in movie Harry Potter &that's harvard
&when they see this they say: Shawn, why do you waste your time studying happiness at Harvard?
seriously, what does a harvard student possibly have to be unhappy about?
embedded withing that question is the key to understand the science of happiness 'cause what that question assumes is that:
our external world is predictive of our happiness levels when in reality:
if i know every thing about your external world, I can only predict 10% of your long term happiness
90% of your long term happiness is predicted not by the external world but by the way your brain processes the world
& if we change it, if we change our formula for happiness &success; what we can do is change the way that we can then affect reality
what we found is that only 25% of job successes are predicted by IQ 75% of job succeses are predicted by your optimism levels, your
social support, & your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of as a threat I talked to a boarding school up in New England
probably the most prestigious boarding school &they said: we already know that
so every year, instead of just teaching our students, we also have a wellness week & we are so excited
Monday night we have the world leading expert coming in to speak about idleness & depression
Tuesday night is school violence &bullying Wednesday night is eating disorders
Thursday night is illicit drug use &Friday night we are trying to decide between risky sex or happiness
I said that's most people's Friday nights
which I'm glad you like, but they did notlike that at all, silence on the phone
&into the silence I said: I'd be happy to speak to your school, but just so you know
that's not a wellness week that's a sickness week
what you've done is outline all the negative things that can happen but not talk about the positive
the absence of disease is not health here is how we get to health:
we need to reverse the formula for happiness & success In the past 3 years, I've travelled to 45 different countries working with
schools & companies in the midst of an economic down turn
&what I found is that most companies & schools follow formula for success which is this:
if I work harder, I will be more successful &if I'm more successful, then I'll be happier
that undergirds most of our parenting styles, our managing styles, the way that we motivate our behaviour & the problem is:
it is scientifically broken & backwards for 2 reasons;
first: every time your brain has a success, you just change the goal post of what success looks like
you've got good grades, now you have to get better grades you've got into good school, now you have to get into abetter school
you've got a good job, now you have to get a better job you hit your sales target, you could change your sales target
&if happiness is on the opposite side of success,your brain never gets there what we've done is that we push happiness over the cognitive horizon as a society
& that's because we think we have to be successful then we will be happier but the real problem is our brain is working the opposite order
if you could raise somebody's level of positivity in the present, then their brain experiences what we now call a happiness advantage
which: your brain when positive performs significantly better than it does when negative, neutral or stressed
your Intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise in fact; what we found is that every single business outcome improves
your brain when positive is 31% more productive than when negative, neutral or stressed -you're 37% better at sales
doctors are 19% faster &more accurate in coming up with a correct diagnosis when in positive than in negative, neutral or stressed
which means we can reverse the formula if we can find a way of becoming positive in the present
then our brains work even more successfully as we are able to work harder, faster &more intelligently
what we need to be able to do is to reverse this formula so we could start to see what our brains are actually capable of
because Dopamine which floods into your system when you are positive has 2 functions;
not only does it make you happier it turns on all the learning centers in your brain
allowing you to adapt to the real world in a different way we've found that there are ways you can train your brain to
be able to become more positive in just 2 minutes span of time done for 21 days in a row
we can actually rewire your brain allowing your brain to actually work more optimistically &more successfully
we've done there things in research now &in every single company that I've worked with
getting them to write down 3new things that they are grateful for for 21days in a row
3new things each day, &at the end of it, their brains start retaining the pattern of
scanning the world not for the negative, but for the positive first
Journalling about one positive experience you've had over the past 24hours allows your brain to relive it
exercise teaches your brain that your behaviour matters
we find that meditation allows your brain to get over the cultural ADHD that we've been creating by trying to do multiple tasks at once
allows our brains to focus on the task at hand
Random Acts of Kindness or conscious Acts of Kindness we get people when they open up their inbox to write one positive email
praising or thanking somebody in their social support network
&by doing these activities &by training your brain just like we train our bodies
what we found is that we could reverse the formula for happiness &success &in doing so not only create ripples of positivity, but create a real revolution
Thank you very much
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Shawn Achor- The happy secret to better work - ( Eng Sub Caption )

16411 Folder Collection
Ruth Tsai published on June 16, 2014
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