The power of positive psychology

For our Leadership and Personal Development classes at Pinchot University – where I am finishing my MBA in Sustainable Business and Energy – we were given this week an article to read and a video to watch.

Here is the pitch of today’s class,

Shawn Achor is a psychologist and CEO of Good Think, Inc., where he researches and teaches about positive psychology. While society tends to operate within a success = happiness model, Shawn posits that happiness must come first and drive success.

Check out this HBR article for a quick synopsis of his research.

Or invest a few more minutes and listen to his TED Talk “The Happy Secret to Better Work:”


Shawn not only argues that happiness makes us more successful because we are more productive, creative and engaged, but that happiness is primarily created internally.

“90 percent of your long-term happiness is predicted not by the external world, but by the way your brain processes the world.”

Shawn outlines proven steps for training our brains to be positive, and I think it’s important for each of us to reflect on how we craft happiness for ourselves.

Here are the five steps. I graded myself out of five on each:

  • 3 gratitudes. 4/5 as I am generally vocally grateful about the people I am surrounded by and the environment I live in;
  • Journaling 2/5. Aafter a year of thinking how to do it, I finally found One Note, by Microsoft. It works on my phone and my computer !
  • Exercise 5/5. For the past few years I had been swimming every week. Now I am even working out and biking everywhere.
  • Meditation 2/5. While I know the potential of pranayama, I still have to make this practice more regular.
  • Random acts of kindness 4/5. I love to help people around me, my friends, neighbors, family… This is so nice to do !

This gives me a 17 out of 25 possible points. Not bad but one can clearly see that I have not exactly followed my instructor’s recommendation of journaling. HUM.

And you ? What do you think of this ? Where are you on these five steps ?

One thought on “The power of positive psychology

  1. Pingback: Vanishing wilderness: 10 percent of Nature gone in 25 years | Sustainable development and much more

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