What if the recipe for job satisfaction came down to something we automatically control?

Image: Many telephone poles close together, each with a man at the top working.

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Today at Ever Widening Circles (EWC), we point you to something really special! This piece made us laugh while inspiring a whole new perspective about work.

Take a look at Shawn Anchor’s TED Talk “The Happy Secret to Better Work” and you’ll know why the happiness advantage is so important…

(Fasten your seat belts, and turn off every distraction. Shawn talks very, very fast and almost every sentence is a gem.)

Via: TED 1

As Mr. Anchor notes, studies have shown that the tribulation of our external world only influence our happiness by 10%. How can that be?

Then he reminds us that the science of happiness shows the way our brains process the world around us is the key to happiness and we can change that!

Is your definition of success on the other side of the horizon? Are you constantly telling yourself “I’ll be happy when….” What about the “happiness advantage” Mr. Anchor has studied.

What if we were happier first? He’s found we would be:

  • more creative
  • more intelligent
  • faster
  • 30% more productive
  • 37% better at sales
  • etc…etc…

Best of all, no matter where you are starting on this, remember that the brain can be rewired and it takes 21 consecutive days to get there.


Image: Metal sculptures of two kids cast long shadows in the snow

In fact, there is so much in that piece that I strongly recommend you watch the video a couple times to really take it all in. He is talking so fast, and throwing so many great insights at us, I found myself missing things while thinking about some particular point he made.

And what about all that craziness in our lives and at work? It’s not going away!

For that, I have two tactics I lean on all the time:

  • When I’m low, I’ve trained myself to mutter “no feeling lasts forever”, and then I get busy. Time passes and if the negative feeling starts to engulf me again, I repeat the pattern: “no feeling lasts forever”, and then I get busy again. Eventually, if I repeat that pattern, I find that’s true! Circumstances change and I feel completely different, and carry on more contentedly!
  • I constantly ask myself “where is the opportunity in this situation?” Almost every disappointing situation has a window of opportunity if we will lift our heads up and take a look from a different perspective. This is difficult at first because we are so good at telling ourselves negative stories. But you can grow this habit, and you can discipline yourself to be constantly scanning the horizon for the positive first. (Most of us do the opposite.)

More for your Happiness Advantage

If you’d like to learn more about the problem of the stories we are constantly telling ourselves, check out another of my most favorite short TED Talks in our article called What Fear Can Teach Us.

17 minutes

Karen Thompson: What Fear Can Teach Us!

DON'T MISS THIS hidden gem! If you are turning your back on all the fear and malice in the news media these days, this TED Talk is a really fun and "game-changing" insight! We use it almost every day.

Read More

That one has a jaw-dropping insight that we use almost every day in our business and personal lives. Enjoy!

Make it a great day! Stay open, curious and hopeful.

~ Dr. Lynda


Scroll down to see six more articles proving “it’s still an amazing world,” or head to our homepage to check out our latest articles, circles, and archives! Even better, subscribe below to receive the latest from EWC right to your inbox!


  1. Achor, Shawn. “The Happy Secret to Better Work.” TED.com. TED, May 2011. Web. 11 Jan. 2016. <https://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work?language=en>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.