Perspective Key to Happiness

“You’d better change that attitude, young lady.” How often I heard that growing up, along with, “You will never be happy.” I was a typical teen with the typical thought pattern that whatever was lacking was the one thing that would make me happy, be it straight hair, a certain outfit, an anticipated letter, a date with a particular someone, and a sky blue Plymouth Duster with white interior.

With adulthood came the notion that to catch that elusive happiness I needed to work harder, which would lead to more success, putting happiness in my grasp. Fascinating brain research is proving our brains work contrary to that.

Long-term happiness is predicted by how our brains process our worlds, not by the worlds themselves. Reality is not the determining factor; it is our perception of that reality that is. (Consider my family’s move from St. Louis to Doniphan in 1969. I watched my siblings’ joy and adventure through my lens of misery.)

In a 2011 TED talk, speaker Shawn Achor shared the happiness advantage.“Your brain at positive performs significantly better than it does at negative, neutral or stressed…Intelligence, creativity and energy levels rise…Your brain at positive is 31% more productive than your brain at negative, neutral or stressed.”

We work harder, faster and smarter being positive in the present. This has significant implications for productivity in the workplace, learning in the classroom, and managing cabin fever! Mom and Dad were on to something; it’s all in the attitude.

(First appeared in 2/24/2015 issue of Prospect-News)

About Teresa Pearson Lee

Retired after 33 years of teaching English and French (one year in private school in Memphis, TN and the rest in public school in Doniphan, MO. Enjoying new adventures - all those things I put off for lack of time, energy, now I can try them! Pottery, writing, traveling, camping, kayaking, dancing, listening to some of the best live music ever, and making lively new friendships. All christened with an appreciation for great red wine! Created and operated KC's on the Current, then sold it and managed it for new owners. You might still find me at the reservation desk when spring rolls around. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO near The Hill. Though a transplant to Southeast Missouri, still a city gal at the core with a deep love of the natural resources in these Ozark foothills. Currently I am a content coordinator for Poplar Bluff Living Magazine and a columnist/stringer for the local weekly The Prospect News. My rescue Siamese helps with most of the proofreading; he has a great ear. I relish the solitude easily had in the Mark Twain Forest but thoroughly enjoy lively outings for music, wine, conversation close to home or in my beloved hometown. Technology is my greatest challenge but so worth the shared connections. There may be a need for solitude but there is little loneliness. The material in this blog written by Teresa Lee is her property and cannot be used without express written consent to do so.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Perspective Key to Happiness

  1. Good post! Love the line “I watched my siblings’ joy and adventure through my lens of misery.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s