Pulse November 2018 - Page 33

“When you look at a mountain alone, you perceive it to be ten to twenty percent steeper than when you look at it with a friend,” said Achor. Being with others forges social bonds, social bonds lead to happiness, and happiness leads to improved outcomes in school, work and health. In essence, being around others unlocks our potential, which is something that, according to Achor, you likely already know on some level: “We all have that friend that we’re funnier, or smarter, or more creative when we’re around.” “When you look at a mountain alone, you perceive it to be ten to twenty percent steeper than when you look at it with a friend.” — SHAWN ACHOR Improving your happiness will improve the happiness of those around you, and vice versa, allowing everyone to reach their potential together. This is because humans are designed to “mirror” each other. “Negativity, stress and anxiety spread like secondhand smoke,” Achor stated, but he also affirmed that happiness spreads too: “Happiness attracts happiness.” Shawn’s keynote was a testament to the power of human connection. For an ISPA Conference & Expo whose theme was “CONNECT,” there could be no better way to begin the event. The Hutchinson family came onstage for the presentation of the ISPA Visionary Award. teeth, Achor says that happiness is something that you should work on every day. By cultivating these two happiness hygiene habits, you can be happier within just 21 days. But keep at it—just like showering today doesn’t keep you clean next week, so to do these habits have to be practiced every day to keep working. 1. SAY THREE NEW THINGS YOU’RE GRATEFUL FOR EVERY DAY Shawn practices this with his family. Each day, everyone writes three new things for which they’re grateful on slips of paper, and then puts those papers in a jar. Before long, the jar will be full of things that make you happy—a powerful visual metaphor that reinforces your state of mind. According to Achor, this habit doesn’t work when you write the same three things every day: they have to be different. When the jar is full, or when you’re having a tough day, pull out a handful of slips and read them. You’ll find all sorts of joyful names, memories and events that you may have forgotten about. 2. TAKE TWO MINUTES TO SEND A TEXT OR EMAIL PRAISING SOMEONE IN YOUR LIFE Shawn’s most recent research emphasizes how we can unlock our true professional and personal potential by building our relationships with others. Cultivate your relationships by sending someone in your life a text, email or note praising them every day. After 21 days, your social connection score (as tested by sociolo- gists) would be within the top ten percent of people worldwide. A strong social network is the greatest predictor of overall happiness, and one’s social connection score is as accurate a predictor of lifespan as obesity and smoking. n SHAWN’S HAPPINESS HYGIENE HABITS Just like showering and brushing your November 2018 ■ PULSE 31