TED Talk (Blog 10)

Formula for Happiness

I was in the mood for some inspiration this morning, so I decided to listen to a TED Talk, hosted by Shawn Achor, titled The happy secret to better work. Achor speaks about how society today has the ‘happiness formula’ all wrong, and how people believe they need to be successful before they can be happy. A quote from his talk that I find particularly memorable is when Achor explains, “75 percent of job successes are predicted by your optimum levels, your social support and your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of as a threat.”

This quote really stands out to me because the statistic is so high. If such a large portion of job successes result from these things, then why do so many people work countless hours, lose out on sleep, and succumb to stress and anxiety in work and at school? I know I am guilty of all of these things at one point or another. Achor’s talk really reminded me that happiness should always come first. Without happiness, how can we truly achieve success? We often lose sight of the formula for happiness. It gets jumbled up in our brains as we become preoccupied with the negative in life.

Happiness Map

(Image Source)

Perhaps we need to focus on the positive more. We need to think positive and do positive, and then we’ll achieve success. At minute 11:25 in Achor’s talk (you can see in the attached video), he presents the audience with small changes society can make to be happier, which will lead to success. These small changes include: 3 graditudes, journaling, exercise, meditation and random acts of kindness.

I don’t know about you, but beginning today, I’m going to start making an effort to incorporate these small changes into my daily life. Not only can we individually benefit from this formula for happiness, but we may actually be able to make the world a better place at the same time.


(Featured Image Source)


9 thoughts on “Formula for Happiness

  1. This is a really interesting TED Talk. I think it’s really important for people to be happy, especially within the workforce. It impacts so many other aspects of work such as productivity and therefore the bottom line. Do you think more companies will try to implement this in the workplace?

    • Lauren, I completely agree that this idea should really be emphasized in the work place. I think more companies today, compared to in the past, emphasize being happy, especially through promoting healthy activities, such as providing gym memberships for employees. I think more and more companies will hop on the bandwagon and provide happy environments for their employees.

  2. This reminds my of Bucknell’s DORAK–Do Random Acts of Kindness–group on campus. It is the little things that this group does that can change our day and make us happy. In a similar vein, it should be the mission of any company to keep its employees satisfied. As Lauren mentions, a happy worker is a productive worker, and thus ultimately ends up impacting a company’s bottom line.

    • Dan, it reminded me of DORAK also–especially when he recommends doing random acts of kindness to contribute to feelings of happiness. This is so true too. I think when people help each other out, or volunteer at a community service event, this makes them feel happy about themselves and makes them feel as though they are positively impacting their communities, which then motivates them to be successful in other areas of their lives.

  3. I really like the chart that you included in your post. I think sometimes people forget that their happiness is most often their own responsibility. We can’t always rely on others and if we feel unhappy then the best solution is to make a personal change.

  4. The sentence that he said at 6:21 is really effective, “the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality”. It makes me think of the statement that everything has two sides, if you face towards the good side, everything in your view will be in a good way.

  5. I ended up watching this TED talk too when searching for my blog post. One thing I found in common with Achor as well as many other talks I listened to was the notion of stress as a challenge instead of a threat. I don’t know much about the idea, but the fact that I heard this in 2 or 3 other TED talks is very interesting, and something I’d definitely like to know more about.

  6. There is a school of philosophy called hedonism which I think more or less says if what you do is pleasurable, then it is morally right….

    Of course, in protestant-based modern European and American societies, such frivolity or pleasure principle is frowned upon.

  7. Pingback: How to Have a Good Day | HollyLegare.com

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