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Monday, January 2, 2012

Happiness Advantage: Post #5--Possiblities

Principle #3. The Tetris Effect: Training Your Brain to Capitalize on Possibility
a. Tetris gamers start to “see” the world around them like Tetris shapes. Our mind shapes how we see the world. Scanning the world for threats or negative impacts creates a worldview that screens out positives and creates a “negative” mindset…undercuts creativity, motivation, and goal accomplishment—thus keeping us from our potential.
b. A person’s “cognitive pattern” has real effects. For example, accountants and lawyers constantly look for errors…problems. Their days are filled with audits or trial defenses. And it affects their relationships…like looking for C’s, not A’s, on their kids’ report cards. It also affects them personally.
c. Lawyers experience 3.6 times the depression as the rest of workers…it’s an occupational hazard. But no one is immune from this “tetris” or cognitive pattern effect. Athletes become “competitive” with their relationships and it changes them, not always for the better. Social workers who see a lot of male-on-female abuse start seeing all men as potential abusers.
d. “Selective Perception” is seeing what we’re looking for. When we hear a new word or buy a new car, we hear and see the same all around us. Heightened selective perception creates a filter to see the world through. This can be negative if your lens is one of distrust, or it can be positive if based on trust. Two people can look at the same person and construct totally different meanings about that person’s words and actions.
e. Positive Tetris Effect: Two big ones—Gratitude and Optimism. Psychologist Robert Emmons has studied the power of gratitude for years and found it fundamental to happiness, energy, productivity, etc. People can be trained to be grateful by using a gratitude journal.
f. Optimism: Predicts job performance. Optimists set more and higher goals and tend to hit them. Richard Wiseman studied luck and found that if people expect good things to happen to them, they will. Something about how thinking optimistically reframes your brain. Latent opportunity is always there but optimists tap into it…pessimists miss such opportunity a LOT.
g. Rose-Tinted glasses: The author suggests rose-tinted glasses that will allow the Big Problems in but will filter out the many little ones, which if we focus on them, will pull us down. Better to see the world as positive, which helps us find even more positivity.
h. “In business and in life, the ‘reasonable optimist’ will win every time.”

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