Shawn Anchor can talk faster than any keynote speaker I’ve ever heard. And, you can still understand every word! He is delightfully entertaining, funny, and a great storyteller. And in just 12 minutes in his TEDx Bloomington talk, he manages to make you laugh (many times!) while, at the same time, showing the way towards a new formula for happiness in today’s fast-paced world. (See the video of his TEDx talk below.)

Anchor reminds us that the primary thing that shapes our lives is not our reality, but rather the lens through which we choose to view that reality. For many of us, this is not new information. Yet the combination of Shawn’s storytelling and the data he shares about business and educational outcomes made me sit up and take notice.

The bottom line, according to Anchor, is that, “Most companies and schools follow a formula for success that says: If I work harder, I’ll be more successful. And if I’m more successful, then I’ll be happier.”

He reminds us that the problem with this formula is that, especially in business and education, we keep moving the success target point. As soon as we reach success, we set another goal further out and immediately tie our happiness to the new goal. Unfortunately, this means that we never reach “happiness” and have no sense of accomplishment or fulfillment. And, too often, that leads to stress and burnout.

However, all is not lost! Anchor closes his talk with five simple things that we can do, starting right now, to train our brains to create lasting positive change in our lives. Give yourself a break for 12 minutes, watch this video, laugh out loud, and learn how to create a formula for happiness that truly works.



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