So I have a question: How come all these great TED Talks are saying things that Christians should already know? You know what I mean? We’ve seen one talk on why money doesn’t make you happy. And another on how spending money on others brings more satisfaction and joy than spending it on ourselves. I mean, really, this isn’t rocket science.
Except that lately it is. Okay, not rocket science, but brain science, as lots of recent research in psychology, neuro-science, and behavior economics is helping us understand ourselves better. Interestingly, if not surprisingly to us, much of this research echoes what our faith tradition has taught us and that we have experienced as true in our own lives.
So here’s another basic truth that it is fascinating to see explored and deployed by today’s leading thinkers: You are so much happier – and, as it turns out, far more productive – when you count your blessings. So what would our households, congregations, school, and places of work be like if we made a concentrated effort to count our blessings, give thanks for them, and encourage others to do the same? I think that such a small gesture could be surprisingly powerful.
Shawn Achor, who delivered this talk, has taught psychology at Harvard University (where he taught the most popular class on campus!) and is now CEO of Good Think, Inc, a consulting firm that researches positive anomalies and outliers – people who excel well beyond the norm in their particular professions – to discover and share how to maximize happiness, success, and productivity. He packs a lot of information – and quite a few laughs – into this powerful 12 minute talk. Enjoy!
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