Three new things I’m thankful for

Bumming around Facebook today, I saw some links to an awesome TED talk:

At the end of the talk, Shawn Achor says:

We’ve found that there are ways that you can train your brain to be able to become more positive. In just a two-minute span of time done for 21 days in a row, we can actually rewire your brain, allowing your brain to actually work more optimistically and more successfully. We’ve done these things in research now in every single company that I’ve worked with, getting them to write down three new things that they’re grateful for for 21 days in a row, three new things each day. And at the end of that, their brain starts to retain a pattern of scanning the world, not for the negative, but for the positive first.

Journaling about one positive experience you’ve had over the past 24 hours allows your brain to relive it. Exercise teaches your brain that your behavior matters. We find that meditation allows your brain to get over the cultural ADHD that we’ve been creating by trying to do multiple tasks at once and allows our brains to focus on the task at hand. And finally, random acts of kindness are conscious acts of kindness. We get people, when they open up their inbox, to write one positive email praising or thanking somebody in their social support network. [Play the video from this part]

I am a big believer in – but not in all cases a big doer of – starting small and just doing some small things to start off with instead of starting everything at once, so I’m going to start with the three new things I’m thankful for each day, because that’s a super easy thing to do. And then let’s see what else I add to it, 21 days into the future. I am going to do this here. It may not always be appropriate to do these publicly, but I will make that decision when I come to it.

I’m really interested to see how these things change over time. Right now they are not very deep, I’m down with that.

Thursday, Feb 23, 2011