The Happy Secret to Better Work (TED Talks)

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  1. What does the story about “the unicorn” prove?
  2. Is it good or bad that classes are tailored towards the average?
  3. Why do we need to study outliers?
  4. What does “the medical school syndrome” mean? Have you ever suffered from it?
  5. What might the students from Harvard be not happy?
  6. Do you agree with this statement “only 25% of job successes are predicted by IQ, 75 percent of job successes are predicted by your optimism levels, your social supportand your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of as a threat”?
  7. Do you believe that we can train our brain to become more positive, that we can rewire our brain? How can we do it?



to be on one’s best behavior

I was trying hard to be on my best behavior.

to avert the tragedy = to prevent something bad or dangerous from happening

So I did the only thing my frantic seven year-old brain could think to do to avert this tragedy.

to stumble across = to discover something or someone unexpectedly

We had stumbled across something called positive psychology, which is the reason I’m here today and the reason that I wake up every morning.

outlier = a person who is very unusual or successful and not like others in the same group

Then instead of deleting those positive outliers, what I intentionally do is come into a population like this one and say, why?

to glean = to obtain information, knowledge, etc., sometimes with difficulty and often from various different places

Because maybe we can glean information, not just how to move people up to the average, but move the entire average up in our companies and schools worldwide.

workload = the amount of work that has to be done

hassle = a situation that is annoying because it involves doing something difficult or complicated that needs a lot of effort

I found that these students, no matter how happy they were with their original success of getting into the school, two weeks later their brains were focused, not on the privilege of being there,nor on their philosophy or physics, but on the competition, the workload, the hassles, stresses, complaints.

predictive = connected with the ability to show what will happen in the future

Because what that question assumes is that our external world is predictive of our happiness levels, when in reality, if I know everything about your external world, I can only predict 10% of your long-term happiness.

to rewire one’s brain

In just a two-minute span of time done for 21 days in a row, we can actually rewire your brain, allowing your brain to actually work more optimistically and more successfully.