It is amazing to me how often I am reminded that we each make our own day!
As a parent, I have often pointed out to our three daughters while they were growing up that they in fact “made their own day”. I wanted them to know that, at least from my perspective, we do “make our own days” – that the attitudes we hold are our own. And that they are a choice. I would make the point that they could choose to have a good day or a not so good day. that they were, to a very large extent, in charge of their own day. I would of course encourage them to choose to frame their world with a ‘positive frame.” I am all for choosing to have good days.
Shawn Acher in his book, The Happiness Advantage , (2010) makes the point that we can influence ourselves to be more positive and more productive in our lives both at work and at home. He doesn’t preach in the book. He shares scientific findings. I like that!
Here are some important scientific findings he presents in the book (pages 76 -78):
More important than believing in your own abilities is believing that you can improve these abilities. Few people have proven this theory more convincingly than Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck whose studies show that whether or not someone believes their intelligence is changeable directly affects their achievement. Dweck found that people can be split into two categories: Those with a “fixed mindset” believe that their capabilities are already set, while those with a “growth mindset” believe that they can enhance their basic qualities through effort. A growth mindset is not dismissive of innate ability; it merely recognizes, as Dweck explains, that “although people may differ in every which way – in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments – everyone can change and grow through application and experience.” Her research has shown that people with fixed mindsets miss choice opportunities for improvement and consistently underperform, while those with “growth mindsets” watch their abilities move ever upward.
Once we realize how much our reality depends on how we view it, it comes as less of a surprise that our external circumstances predict only about 10 percent of our total happiness. This is why Sonja Lyubomirsky, a leader in the scientific study of well-being, has written that she prefers the phrase “creation or construction of happiness” to the more popular “pursuit,” since “research shows that it’s in our power to fashion it for ourselves.” As all these mindset studies have shown, this is true for positive outcomes and success in any other domain. By changing the way we perceive ourselves and our work, we can dramatically improve our results.
Shawn Archer provides a clear picture of how we do, in fact: Make our own day. The book is loaded with great information. He shares the Seven Principals of Positive Psychology that fuel success and performance at he has taught at Harvard’s famed Happiness Course and to companies worldwide.
It is an important topic and a terrific book.