Time to celebrate with your personal “Ta Da” list

It’s time to begin celebrating your triumphs. This is the fourth year I’ve posted about this timely topic; I love creating blog traditions!  Today is the 183rd day of 2015, which is the halfway point.  It is the perfect time to celebrate you and your life by creating your very own “Ta Da” list.  The Wishful Thinking Works “Ta Da List is much more fun than a “To Do” List, because it’s for all the wonderful things you’ve already accomplished!

What have you accomplished this year that just six months ago seemed impossible or a distant possibility? (Feel free to include anything you have ever accomplished – this is the time to toot your horn.)

What new trails have you blazed?

What have you found the strength to face?

What promises have you kept?

What chances did you take?

What teeny, tiny or wondrously huge steps have you taken in the direction of your dreams?

I think that since folks will soon be celebrating with parties, picnics and pyrotechnics for the Fourth of July, it’s a fantastic time to combine our patriotic triumphs with our personal ones – and celebrate them all!

Start now to make this Fourth of July your personal Independence Day. Complete your “Ta Da” list to light-up your life by counting your successes.

Most of us spend way more time thinking about what we haven’t done, than what we have done. It’s time to change all that and make 2015 your year of the have’s not the have not’s

Celebrating success builds confidence, which moves us forward faster and makes us happier along the way!

fireworks-180553__180Don’t be shy – this is the season for aiming high and lighting up the sky. List everything you have accomplished, big and small, and then, when you are watching “the rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air” congratulate yourself on your 2015 accomplishments thus far, and all the exciting ones that lay ahead. Let those bright lights and loud booms ignite a sense of personal pride just for you.

To get started, click here for your free Wishful Thinking Works downloadable Ta Da List .  Don’t forget to share with family and friends so they can begin celebrating, too. 

Have fun, and here’s to a perfectly positive Independence Day in 2015!

wishyright

For Wishful Thinking Works services that can change your life, click here.

To gain “The Happiness Advantage” in 2015, click here.

To “Like” Wishful Thinking on Facebook, click here.

Never underestimate the power of happiness . . .

International lecturer, author of the “Happiness Advantage”, and former Harvard instructor Shawn Achor recently shared the following research at the Commonwealth Bank’s two-day “Wired for Wonder” conference in Sydney, Australia. The figures are staggering, the research is interesting, and the impact amazing.

MH900448318Happiness matters.

“Ninety percent of our long-term level of happiness is . . . not based on the external world, but how your brain processes the external world,” Achor said. “If we could change that lens some incredible things could happen.”

“If you take four-year-old children, prime them to become more positive and have them put blocks of shapes together, it turns out the children in the positive category will put blocks together significantly faster than children in a negative/neutral category.”

IQ doesn’t matter as much as we think it does.

“If I know everyone’s IQ here in the room and I’m trying to predict your job successes, cross-industry, over the next five-year period, it turns out that IQ and technical skills are only responsible [for] and only predict 25 % of your job successes,” Achor told the conference.

The pattern has been observed again and again: “Happiness and optimism can be much better predictors of productivity than IQ and technical skills,” Achor said. According to research undertaken in the late 1990s, doctors who had been primed to be more positive were 19% faster and more accurate with coming up with a correct diagnosis and were more “intellectually flexible” when presented with a misdiagnosis.

Success and Happiness

MH900401133“… if you raise your levels of happiness, it turns out every single business and educational outcome improves. Our success rates rise dramatically. Raising success does not raise levels of happiness but raising levels of happiness dramatically increases your success rates.”

Before Happiness

Achor’s second book, “Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success” is due out in September, I’ll be sharing more info from it with you as soon as it’s available.

Have a great weekend, and make it even better by asking yourself each morning, what one thing can I do today to bring more joy into my life. . . and then do it!

The head stand of happiness

 

The Happiness Advantage

Would you like to increase your productivity by 30% without sacrificing your happiness? If so, click The Happiness Advantage  to watch a 2:39 minute intro video as former Harvard lecturer, Shawn Achor explains how happiness is the key.

Achor is a positive psychology expert. He taught for years in one of Harvard’s most popular classes, “Positive Psychology”, conducted research in the field and travels the world lecturing on the topic. I will be sharing more from Achor’s great book, The Happiness Advantage in the weeks ahead.

WTW Dandelion

The Lollipop Effect

Good Monday morning. Hope you had a great weekend and are raring to go. Here’s some info that might make your Monday morning a bit brighter.

 

What do sweet treats have to do with how our brains work?

Well, it turns out that positively priming your brain before attempting simple or complex tasks can improve your success on those tasks – big time. So how do we positively prime? In psychological circles it’s known as creating “positive affect”. In real world terms, it’s nothing more than giving yourself or others a boost of positive feelings or a shot of happiness, and that’s easier to do than you might imagine!

You can prime yourself to think more creatively and process information faster and more effectively by simply thinking of a happy memory or giving yourself a guilt-free treat such as a lollipop!

In his book, The Happiness Advantage, Harvard professor, Shawn Achor shares a study that reveals doctors, who were primed with lollipops, provided the correct diagnosis twice as fast as the doctors in the study’s control group. And, here’s the kicker – they didn’t even get to eat the suckers – they just received them!

That’s not all. Research shows that 4-year-old kids do better when asked to just think about something happy before starting a task. And, high-schoolers, who conjured up the happiest day of their lives before beginning a standardized math test (math-yikes!), scored higher than their fellow students. Achor notes that much of this research is based on Barbara Fredrickson’s “Broaden and Build Theory”, which represents the flip side of the “Flight or Fight Theory”.  The “Flight or Fight Theory” reflects the brain’s ability to focus and narrow our actions in times of fear or stress, which is a good thing in times of danger. Fredrickson’s work reveals that a happy brain broadens our perspective and thoughts, increasing creativity and stamina, which is a good thing pretty much the rest of the time.

Being relaxed and happy allows us to do better in most areas of our lives. Our brains are hard-wired to perform more successfully at “happy” than at neutral or unhappy.

Happiness matters! Feeling positive makes a huge difference on outcomes in educational, personal, and professional settings, and as the studies above and many others show – even the simplest things can make us happy.

Getting happy

Start your Monday morning by priming your brain: 

  • Think of something that makes you happy. Picture it. Relive it in your mind. Now, savor it for a few seconds – you know you are “there” when you are experiencing almost the same glow as when your happy moment  first occurred.
  • Listen to music you love on the way to work. (I know it’s too late for today, but consider jammin’ in the car on the way home.)
  • Enjoy a special treat when you arrive at work, and then think of ways to create an organization where fun is not a dirty word and buying the donuts is part of the strategic plan.
  • Create a toy corner where you and other staff can mingle and “play” with a variety of games and other fun stuff. (Toy corners work well at home, too.)
  • Color – keep a nice big box of Crayola’s on-hand. 
  • Encourage staff to swap stories about the fun they had over the weekend.
  • Allow physical distractions such as hall golf, desk-top football or cubicle badminton. Be creative. (Cubicle badminton:  wad a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 paper into a ball, use a steno pad or other spiral notebook to serve it over the net (cubicle wall) – discuss your latest project with your colleague while volleying back and forth.)

The options are endless for upping the happiness level of your office, classroom or home. Keep your ideas simple, mix them up regularly, look for the bright side and then sit back and see what happens. I’d love to hear what works for you.

In my perfect world, orange Tootsie Roll Pops grow on trees; just thinking of it makes me smile. And, reaching up to pick one makes me very, very happy.

PS I enjoyed reading The Happiness Advantage – it’s filled with great information, insights and ideas, I’ll be sharing more about it this month.

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