25% of Job Success is Predicted by I.Q. 75% is Predicted by Your Optimism Levels

Why are some of the most successful people not the most statistically intelligent? Why are they often not the most naturally talented in their field? Might there be another factor that plays into success?

Shawn Achor, a lecturer on positive psychology at Harvard and founder of GoodThink Inc., has spent his life studying the impact of positive thinking on performance and behavior. Positive psychology is not mumbo-jumbo, telling yourself you can grow wings and fly. It has to do with what you focus on, what you think about, and how you train your brain.

In a TED talk given in Bloomington, Indiana, Achor shares, “What we found is that only 25% of job successes are predicted by I.Q.  75% of job successes are predicted by your optimism levels, your social support and your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of a threat.”

He said, “We’ve found that you can train your brain to become more positive. In just a 2-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.”

Achor encourages people to “write down three things that you’re grateful for for 21 days in a row, three new things each day.” He says, “at the end of that, your 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.”

He also teaches meditation to help people focus on the task at hand, so they’re not overwhelmed with all the negative news and interruptions coming in from the outside world.

Watch the full talk here. 

Published on August 26th, 2014 in Blog

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