Monday Motivation: Prime for Positive


Good Morning.  It is Monday. What is your mindset this morning? Pause and reflect, “what thoughts are you thinking and what words are you speaking as you get ready to embark on this week of work”? Are you equally as excited about Monday as you are for Friday? If you are honest with yourself, the answer is probably, “No”. Remember, you have the power to change that; you do have a lot of choice in this situation.

William James, American philosopher, says “The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.” Your thoughts and words define who you are and prime your brain for your insights, reactions and responses to everything that will happen to you today. “It is not necessarily reality that shapes you, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality”(Shawn Achor).

What is the attitude you will choose as you embark on this week?

What will be your lens of choice?

The answers to these questions will make a BIG difference on your personal happiness. That is right; your personal happiness depends on YOU more than it depends on your external circumstances. In fact, research published in the How of Happiness, by University of California psychology professor, Sonja Lyubomirsky, states that only 10% of your happiness has to do with your external circumstances (what happens to you). 90% of your happiness is based on how you see the world and included in that 90% is genetic predisposition (50%) and intentional activities (40%). Say what? YES, INTENTIONAL ACTIVITIES! These are specifics things YOU can do to improve your happiness.

An IMPORTANT factor in your happiness is your BRAIN; how YOUR BRAIN processes the external world makes a BIG difference! From an evolutionary brain perspective, your brain scans for “danger” first and BAD is stronger than GOOD. Your brain scans your environment every day to keep you from harm. It is always on the lookout for “threat”. Therefore, you have some work to do to shift your brain’s perspective and prime for positive. Your brain will work much better at positive vs. negative, neutral or stressed. When your brain is at positive, your thinking broadens, you are more open, creative and innovative; the opposite occurs when your brain is seeing the world from negative.

Think about the messages your brain receives on an ongoing daily basis. Studies have shown that after only watching 3 minutes of “negative news” first thing in morning report having their “worst day”. Think about that! After only 3 minutes of negative information each morning, your brain’s outlook can be skewed toward the negative for the remainder of the day! This alone should make you PAUSE and THINK about the IMPACT your surroundings have on the way your brain will process the world around YOU. If the way your brain processes the world around you impacts your happiness, then it is critical to be more thoughtful about the environments within which you choose to reside.

What are some things you can do to reprogram your brain to become more positive so that you can gain a competitive advantage and create more success, happiness and reward in your life?

To raise your happiness level, you need to make both mindset and behavior shifts. Remember, “intentional activities” make a SIGNIFICANT difference on your happiness, wellbeing, and optimism. In his book, The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor, shares the following key steps you can take each day to increase your experience of happiness:

  • Gratitude – each day write down three NEW things for which you are grateful. (this trains your brain to scan first for positive; then negative).

  • Positive experience – each day journal for 2 minutes about a positive experience you have had in your life (your brain will relive the positive experience). Exercise – engage in 15 minutes of mindful cardio activity each day (trains the brain that your behavior matters).

  • Meditatefocus on your in breath and out breath for two minutes each day (trains the brain to focus on current task vs. multi-tasking).

  • Engage in a random, conscious act of kindness (a positive email, hold the door open for someone, compliment someone, etc.)

You do not have to do all these things. Just pick one. Do it for 21 days and you will begin to see a lasting shift in your mindset toward more positivity; thus, experiencing more happiness in your life. None of these actions take an insurmountable amount of time, and will have a lasting impact on your mindset, habits and happiness.


Happiness does not have to be elusive. Leading a happier life enables you to grow, experience more positive emotions, and find more meaning and purpose in your life. Happiness is within your grasp. Happy people don’t have the best of everything; they make the best of everything.

Have a GREAT day; Have a GREAT week.

#happiness #workplace #happyatwork #joy #brain #neuroscience #positivity #selftalk

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