When I was seven years old
and my sister was just five years old,
we were playing on top of a bunk bed.
I was two years older than my sister at the time
I mean, I’m two years older than her now.
but at the time it meant she had to do everything that I wanted to do,
and I wanted to play war.
So we were up on top of our bunk beds.
And on one side of the bunk bed,
I had put out all of my G.I. Joe soldiers and weaponry.
And on the other side
were all my sister’s My Little Ponies ready for a cavalry charge.
There are differing accounts of what actually happened that afternoon,
but since my sister is not here with us today,
let me tell you the true story,
which is my sister’s a little on the clumsy side.
Somehow, without any help or push from her older brother at all,
Amy disappeared off of the top of the bunk bed
and landed with this crash on the floor.
I nervously peered over the side of the bed
to see what had befallen my fallen sister
and saw that she had landed painfully on her hands and knees
on all fours on the ground.
I was nervous because my parents had charged me
with making sure that my sister and I
played as safely and as quietly as possible.
And seeing as how I had accidentally broken Amy’s arm
just one week before.
heroically pushing her out of the way
of an oncoming imaginary sniper bullet,
for which I have yet to be thanked, I was trying as hard as I could
she didn’t even see it coming
I was trying hard to be on my best behavior.
And I saw my sister’s face,
this wail of pain and suffering and surprise
threatening to erupt from her mouth and wake my parents
from the long winter’s nap for which they had settled.
So I did the only thing
my frantic seven year-old brain could think to do to avert this tragedy.
And if you have children, you’ve seen this hundreds of times.
我说：“艾米 好了 别哭了 你看到你是怎么落地的么？
I said, “Amy, wait. Don’t cry. Did you see how you landed?
No human lands on all fours like that.
Amy, I think this means you’re a unicorn.”
Now, that was cheating,
because there was nothing she would want more
than not to be Amy the hurt five year-old little sister,
but Amy the special unicorn.
Of course, this option was open to her brain
at no point in the past.
And you could see how my poor, manipulated sister faced conflict,
as her little brain attempted to devote resources
to feeling the pain and suffering and surprise she just experienced,
or contemplating her new-found identity as a unicorn.
And the latter won.
Instead of crying or ceasing our play,
instead of waking my parents,
with all the negative consequences for me,
a smile spread across her face
and she scrambled back up onto the bunk bed
with all the grace of a baby unicorn,
with one broken leg.
What we stumbled across
at this tender age of just five and seven
we had no idea at the time
was something going be at the vanguard of a scientific revolution
occurring two decades later in the way that we look at the human brain.
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.
When I started talking about this research
outside of academia, with companies and schools,
the first thing they said to never do is to start with a graph.
The first thing I want to do is start with a graph.
This graph looks boring,
but it is the reason I get excited and wake up every morning.
And this graph doesn’t even mean anything; it’s fake data.
What we found is —
If I got this data studying you, I would be thrilled,
because there’s a clear trend going on there,
and that means that I can get published,
which is all that really matters.
The fact is there is one weird red dot above the curve,
there’s one weirdo in the room
I know who you are, I saw you earlier.
That’s no problem.
That’s no problem, as most of you know,
because I can just delete that dot.
I can delete that dot because that’s clearly a measurement error.
And we know that’s a measurement error
because it’s messing up my data.
所以通常经济学 统计学 商务学以及心理学课程
So one of the first things we teach people
in economics, statistics, business and psychology courses
is how, in a statistically valid way, do we eliminate the weirdos.
How do we eliminate the outliers
so we can find the line of best fit?
Which is fantastic if I’m trying to find out
how many Advil the average person should be taking — two.
But if I’m interested in your potential,
或者快乐 生产力 或者精力 创造力感兴趣
or for happiness or productivity or energy or creativity,
we’re creating the cult of the average with science.
If I asked a question like,
“How fast can a child learn how to read in a classroom?”
scientists change the answer to
“How fast does the average child learn how to read in that classroom?”
and we tailor the class towards the average.
If you fall below the average, on this curve
then psychologists get thrilled,
because that means you’re depressed or have a disorder,
or hopefully both.
We’re hoping for both because our business model is,
if you come into a therapy session with one problem,
we want to make sure you leave knowing you have ten,
so you keep coming back over and over again.
We’ll go back into your childhood if necessary,
but eventually we want to make you normal again.
But normal is merely average.
And positive psychology posits that if we study what is merely average,
we will remain merely average.
Then instead of deleting those positive outliers,
what I intentionally do is come into a population like this one
and say, why?
Why some of you are so high above the curve
包括你的智商 运动能力 音乐才能
in terms of intellectual, athletic, musical ability,
creativity, energy levels,
resiliency in the face of challenge, sense of humor?
不管是哪方面 我不会删除你 而是去研究你
Whatever it is, instead of deleting you, what I want to do is study you.
Because maybe we can glean information,
not just how to move people up to the average,
but how we can move the entire average up
in our companies and schools worldwide.
The reason this graph is important to me
is, when I turn on the news,
it seems like the majority of the information is not positive.
in fact it’s negative.
大部分都是关于谋杀 腐败 疾病 自然灾害
Most of it’s about murder, corruption, diseases, natural disasters.
And very quickly, my brain starts to think
that’s the accurate ratio of negative to positive in the world.
This creates “the medical school syndrome.”
which means people’ve been the medical school during the first year of medical training,
as you read through a list of all the symptoms and diseases, that could happen.
Suddenly you realize you have all of them.
I have a brother in-law named Bobo, which is a whole other story.
Bobo married Amy the unicorn.
Bobo called me on the phone —
from Yale Medical School,
and Bobo said, “Shawn, I have leprosy.”
Which, even at Yale, is extraordinarily rare.
But I had no idea how to console poor Bobo
because he had just gotten over an entire week of menopause.
We’re finding it’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us,
but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality.
And if we can change the lens, not only can we change your happiness,
we can change every single educational and business outcome at the same time.
I applied to Harvard, I applied on a dare.
I didn’t expect to get in,
and my family had no money for college.
When I got a military scholarship two weeks later, they let me go.
Something that wasn’t even a possibility became a reality.
When I went there,
I assumed everyone there would see it as a privilege as well,
that they’d be excited to be there.
even in a classroom full of people smarter than you,
you’d be happy just to be in that classroom which what I thought.
But what I found is, it’s what some people experience that,
when I graduated after my four years
and then spent the next eight years living in the dorms with the students —
Harvard asked me to; I wasn’t that guy.
I was an officer to counsel students through the difficult four years.
And in my research and my teaching,
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,
the brain focuses on the competition, the workload,
the hassles, stresses, complaints.
When I first went in there, I walked into the freshmen dining hall,
which is where my friends from Waco, Texas, which is where I grew up —
I know some of you heard of this.
When they’d visit, they’d look around,
and say, “This dining hall looks like something out of Hogwart’s.”
确实 这边是霍格瓦茨魔法学校的食堂 那边是哈佛大学食堂
It does, because that was Hogwart’s and that’s Harvard.
And when they see this,
they say, “Shawn, why do you waste your time studying happiness at Harvard?
Seriously, what does a Harvard student possibly have to be unhappy about?”
Embedded within that question
is the key to understanding the science of happiness.
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.
90 percent of your long-term happiness is predicted not by the external world,
but by the way your brain processes the world.
And if we change it,
if we change our formula for happiness and success,
what we can do is to change the way that we can then affect reality.
What we found is that only 25% of job successes are predicted by IQ,
75 percent of job successes
are predicted by your optimism levels, your social support
and your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of as a threat.
I talked to a boarding school of New England.
probably the most prestigious one,
and they said, “We already know that.
So every year, instead of just teaching our students,
we have a wellness week.
And we’re so excited.
Monday night we have the world’s leading expert
coming in to speak about adolescent depression.
Tuesday night it’s school violence and bullying.
Wednesday night is eating disorders.
Thursday night is illicit drug use.
And Friday night we’re trying to decide between risky sex or happiness.”
I said, “That’s most people’s Friday nights.”
Which I’m glad you liked, but they did not like that at all.
Silence on the phone.
And into the silence, I said, “I’d be happy to speak at your school,
但是你们也知道 这其实不是健康周 而是疾病周
but just you know that’s not a wellness week, that’s a sickness week.
You’ve outlined all the negative things that can happen,
but not talked about the positive.”
The absence of disease is not health.
Here’s how we get to health:
We need to reverse the formula for happiness and success.
In the last three years, I’ve traveled to 45 countries,
和那里的学校 公司合作 在这个经济危机时期
working with schools and companies in the midst of an economic downturn.
And what I found that most companies and schools
follow a formula for success, which is this:
If I work harder, I’ll be more successful.
And if I’m more successful, then I’ll be happier.
That undergirds most of our parenting and managing styles,
That was the way that we motivate our behavior.
但问题是从科学角度 这个观点是不成立 落后的有两点原因
And the problem is scientifically broken and backwards for two reasons.
First, every time your brain has a success,
you just changed the goalpost of what success looked like.
You got good grades, now you have to get better grades,
you got into a good school and after you get into a better one,
you got a good job,
now you have to get a better job,
you hit your sales target, we’re going to change your sales target.
And if happiness is on the opposite side of success,
your brain never gets there.
When we done,
we’ve pushed happiness over the cognitive horizon, as a society.
And that’s because we think we have to be successful,
then we’ll be happier.
But the real problem is our brains work in the opposite order.
If you can raise somebody’s level of positivity in the present,
then their brain experiences what we now call a happiness advantage,
which is your brain at positive performs significantly better
than at negative, neutral or stressed.
你的智商 创造力 精力也提高了
Your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise.
事实上 我们发现 每件事的结果都改善了
In fact, we’ve found that every single business outcome improves.
Your brain at positive is 31% more productive
than your brain at negative, neutral or stressed.
You’re 37% better at sales.
Doctors are 19 percent faster, more accurate
at coming up with the correct diagnosis
when positive instead of negative, neutral or stressed.
which means we can reverse the formula.
If we can find a way of becoming positive in the present,
then our brains work even more successfully
我们会工作得更努力 更快速 更聪明
as we’re able to work harder, faster and more intelligently.
what we need to be able to reverse this formula
so we can start to see what our brains are actually capable of.
Because dopamine, which floods into your system when you’re positive,
has two functions.
Not only does it make you happier,
it turns on all of the learning centers in your brain
allowing you to adapt to the world in a different way.
We’ve found there are ways that you can train your brain
to be able to become more positive.
In just a two-minute span of time done for 21 days in a row,
we can actually rewire your brain,
使你的大脑可以变得 更积极 更成功
allowing your brain to actually work more optimistically and more successfully.
We’ve done these things in research now
in every company that I’ve worked with,
getting them to write down three new things that they’re grateful for
for 21 days in a row, three new things each day.
And at the end of that,
their brain starts to retain a pattern
of scanning the world not for the negative,
but for the positive first.
Journaling about one positive experience you’ve had over the past 24 hours
allows your brain to relive it.
Exercise teaches your brain that your behavior matters.
We find that meditation allows your brain
to get over the cultural ADHD that we’ve been creating
by trying to do multiple tasks at once
and allows our brains to focus on the task at hand.
And finally, random acts of kindness are conscious acts of kindness.
We get people, when they open up their inbox,
to write one positive email
praising or thanking somebody in their support network.
And by doing these activities
and by training your brain just like we train our bodies,
what we’ve found is we can reverse the formula for happiness and success,
and in doing so, not only create ripples of positivity,
but create a real revolution.
Thank you very much.