Before somebody can make a change to their health and their happiness, their brain has already constructed a picture of reality in which change is possible or not. Basically, this predicts whether or not they’ll be able to make that change.
Some people see a world in which they’re only their genes and their environment; so they can watch a ton of TED Talks, they can read a ton of books, but they won’t actually incorporate any of those new changes into their lives…
A lot of frustration comes from us being irrationally optimistic about either the goal that we’re creating or the speed and the time it will take to get there. I have a great little cartoon that someone sent me on Twitter: A rhinoceros is on a treadmill, and it’s sweating and running as fast as it possibly can, and it’s looking up at this poster of this beautiful unicorn. So it’s trying to run as fast as it can to be a unicorn, and inherently it’s creating greater levels of frustration, because it’s not a unicorn, it’s a rhinoceros, and it should be the best rhinoceros that it can be.
From the TED Blog’s Q&A with TEDxBloomington speaker Shawn Achor, a psychologist whose work focus on helping people use positive psychology to be happier and more effective at work.
What makes us happy and productive at work?
In these thought-provoking talks, a psychologist, a behavioral economist, and an entrepreneur explore that question from three different angles. Hear their inspiring insights:
1. Are happy people more productive at work?
In this fast-moving, entertaining talk from TEDxBloomington, psychologist Shawn Anchor argues that happiness inspires productivity.
2. What makes us enjoy our work?
Behavioral economist Dan Ariely presents two eye-opening experiments that reveal how we find meaning in our work. (Hint: It’s not about the money.)
3. Where is the best place to do good work?
Entrepreneur and 37signals founder, Jason Fried, has a radical theory about work: that the office isn’t a good place to do it. At TEDxMidwest, he lays out the problems and offers a better alternative.