Ex Libris – The Happiness Advantage

Generally, I find glass half-full people annoying. I view them like little kids skipping down the street with big smiles on their faces, holding onto a bunch of balloons and candy – balloons that I’d take great enjoyment popping and candy I’d definitely enjoy stealing.

However, I have been told repeatedly by the people who love me most not to dwell in the negative and to try to think more positively. So I decided I had to make a change. It started with a wonderful TED talk by Shawn Achor called “The Happiness Advantage”, and it really inspired me to change my attitude. (If you’ve never heard of TED, you absolutely must check out their talks. I like watching them on lunch breaks because they’re usually no longer than 20 minutes.)

I enjoyed this talk immensely, especially considering my current job-hunting situation. So I took the optimistic plunge of purchasing his book, despite being not in to self-help books. But I’m currently reading and loving it! I’m realizing (better late than never) that my mindset absolutely affects my environment, and that it’s so important I focus on the positive things in my life. We are programed to believe happiness comes after certain achievements – promotions, getting that perfect job, etc. – but it doesn’t because our goals then shift and a new happiness milestone is created. So you spend your life chasing happiness and success, without appreciating what you do have already. Studies have shown that those who are happy FIRST have the most success in life.

I’m sure I’ll always be a tad cynical and pessimistic, but this book has been really helpful in opening my eyes to how just changing a few things will make a world of difference in my life.

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