Note all posts that are part of the Neuroscience of Achievement series will be short and sweet. I want to give you actionable items. I will do future blog posts to elaborate on the nuances of everything I present as part of this series and I will discuss and share some of the science underlying these recommendations.
Positive Psychology is a new and upcoming field, which instead of focusing on how human psychology goes wrong and how to bring people back to the average. It aims to understands what underlies exception performance and happiness in life to inform how everyone can be exceptionally happy and accomplished.
I have written a blog post alluding to the exercises I recommend below however I wanted to give them its own blog post because it is that important. The quickest way to improve our performance is to change how we view our world and what we actively seek out. There was a recent research study done at Harvard in which participants were asked to come in and play Tetris for 3-4 hours for a days for a few days in a row. Then they were asked to come back in a week. They all reported starting to view how they see the world in relation to the darn Tetris game they had been playing. The same is true of the polarity of our mental outlook (positive or negative). The old adage that the world is your mirror is a scientific fact because your mind seeks out what you program it to. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that we are programming our mind to be happy and loving and to seek out the everyday miracles. How would you do this? You may think that it would be extremely difficult. However, it is NOT.
To help change the polarity of your mental outlook do the following every morning
1.Write down 5 things you are grateful for
2.Spend ~ 3 minutes journalling a recent positive experience
Geek Alert: These exercises help to transiently increase you dopamine and serotonin levels which are you cognitive horsepower, and if you complete these exercises consistently they will increase your baseline dopamine and serotonin levels, which will therefore improve your cognition.
If you are extremely interested in learning about this amazing new field check out these Youtube videos of a talk given by Shawn Achor (A Harvard Psychology Professor). In addition, I will be doing a book review about his book The Happiness Advantage
very soon. However, do NOT delve into this fascinating material without ritualizing these two simple tasks FIRST.