One of the many reasons I love my job: The Head of School has initiated a “happiness group” among the faculty and staff. A couple of weeks ago, she sent a link to a TED talk by psychologist Shawn Achor, which has been viewed countless times and which, no doubt, has inspired countless people to re-think their ideas about success, satisfaction, and daily experiences. Toward the end of his talk, Dr. Achor offers suggestions for five daily practices that have been proven to raise our level of happiness:
- Naming 3 “gratitudes” each day
- Keeping a journal
- Performing random acts of kindness
One of our 7th grade teachers had brought the talk to the head of school with the thought, “wouldn’t this be a great message to share with our middle school students?”
Of course, it’s a great idea. But before we bring it to the kids, our wise head of school said, let’s offer a challenge to the adults in the community. Let’s see if we can raise our own happiness quotients.
And so, our “happiness group” was born. More than two dozen people volunteered to choose one or more of Achor’s behaviors, and make a 21-day commitment to stick with it. We’ll all be checking in with ourselves and each other during the next three weeks as we try to make happiness a habit.
I like to think of myself as a generally happy person, and I think I try to seek opportunities to discover happiness in my day–but couldn’t we all be a bit more mindful about finding the good in our lives?