Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Keys to Happiness

     A couple of weeks ago, I watched one of those "Ted" talks that someone had recommended.  If you haven't seen any of these, they're very short and are usually fascinating, and sometimes even inspirational.  This one happened to be by Shawn Achor, a Harvard psychology professor who has devoted his career to studying positive psychology.  Here's a link to his talk.
     In this particular talk, he discusses the impact of happiness and reveals the 5 most important practices that research shows lead to happiness.  Interestingly, one of those practices is doing random acts of kindness.  Another is showing gratitude every day.  This certainly resonates with my own experience.
     Today was another day where I decided to thank someone for a key contribution they've made to my success.  It was someone who was willing to give me a chance and "bet on me" and their support helped launch some of my current activities.  I wrote him a hand-written thank you note today, identifying the specific things I appreciated.  
     The other day I heard a song by Rodney Atkins called "Tips."  The song tells the story of a young singer who meets an older, wise man who gives him some important advice.  One of the things he tells the singer is to "treat people right on your ride up, and they'll have your back on your way back down."  Showing some gratitude to the people who help us is a pretty good step in this direction.

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