2 Minute Coaching Tool to Increase Optimism and Success

Positive Thoughts Success

Success Comes from Positive Thoughts

“The most successful people, the ones with the competitive edge, don’t look to happiness as some distant reward for their achievements; they are the ones who capitalize on the positive and reap the rewards at every turn.”~Shawn Achor


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2 Minute Coaching Tool to Increase Optimism and Success

Does it need to be a long process to produce success and happiness in your life?  Well, not according to recent research by Shawn Achor at Harvard.  Spend as little as 2 minutes per day for 21 days to start thinking more positively and successfully. The bottom line: happiness and positive thoughts in the present produce successful outcomes.
You can learn more in Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage.

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Get Success Now

We think that greater success produces greater happiness.   The reverse is true:  Happiness produces more success.  So the key to success is to first concentrate on getting happier.

Shifts in thinking can change the course of your entire day. Simply by taking brief moments through the day to focus on more positive thoughts increases optimism and produces more positive experiences.  Becoming positive in the present results in our brains working better and produces great results. So, how do we practice this positive thinking?

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Rewire your Brain

Achor found that the following two simple writing exercises effectively rewire our brain chemistry for more positive results:

  • 3 Gratitudes- Write down three new things per day you are grateful for. In 21 days you can train your brain to scan your environment for the positives.
  • Journaling – Write about one positive experience you have had in the last 24 hours.  Your brain relives the experience and amplifies the effects of that positive experience.

90% of long-term happiness is predicted not by the external world but by the way your brain processes that world, according to Achor.  If you change the formula for happiness and success you can then change the way you effect reality.

Appreciative Journaling for Happiness and Success

Achor’s research supports the practice of Appreciative Journaling.  The Food for Thought Journal was created as a tool to specifically support your noticing and writing about the positives in your life.  Don’t like journaling so much?  No worries.  The Food for Thought Journal has 22 different appreciative journaling exercises that will make if fun and easy and develop your positive brain.

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Devoting just a few minutes a day to this journal has been shown to help build your appreciative muscle, support your well-being and build resilience while also helping you focus on life’s positives – rather than its pitfalls –and notice the good things in life. Our ability to be happy, optimistic and successful is available to us right now in just a simple shift of awareness!

To watch Achor’s TED talk on the happiness advantage go here

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To put this all into practice and learn more about the “Food for Thought” Journal click here


  1. Calla Gold on May 20, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    What a great journal! It’s amazing how what we focus on becomes what we see. Completely makes sense that acknowledging the good things in life leads the brain to search for, and find, more good things. Happiness doesn’t always come easy, and the brain is a muscle like any other and might need a lot of reconditioning, but it’s possible to be happier every day, and appreciation plays a big role in that! Thanks for sharing.

    • lkjonesdsw on May 21, 2013 at 8:55 am

      Calla Gold Isn’t wonderful that we can train our brains to be more positive and not be the victims of our natural dispositions?

      • Calla Gold on May 22, 2013 at 7:16 am

        lkjonesdsw Calla Gold I like being reminded that pro-actively being positive makes us happier and more productive.

  2. ssayler on May 21, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Great insights-I find journaling also shows patterns to how, when & where we are showing up!

    • DrLynnKJones on May 21, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      ssayler So true, Sharon!  When we journal we necessarily reflect and that allows us to have some great insights!

  3. CindyFaithSwain on September 25, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    I love that I can do this in 2 minutes.  My brain is always telling me I have better things to do but that GRATITUDE IS AN ACTION and helps me tremendously.  I have to be reminded by posts like this to get back in to the habit of writing.  Thanks Dr. Lynn!

    • DrLynnKJones on September 26, 2013 at 9:53 am

      CindyFaithSwain Sounds good, Cindy?  Without my post how can you remind yourself to get back into writing? 🙂
      Dr. Lynn

  4. nicolettek on September 26, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I always practice writing down what I am grateful for and it makes a huge difference in my day!

    • DrLynnKJones on September 26, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      nicolettek Good for you.  It is a discipline, but it works!

  5. leena on November 25, 2013 at 12:17 am

    hi..i m priya fm india..reading ur blog gives immense pleasure..thanks a lot for that..but i m nt able to practise it on regular basis..could you give me any suggestion..i try to be positive and start up with the routine but suddenly after sometime,i get frustrated and again fall into that trap.Could you pls help me to get me on routine with happiness

    • DrLynnKJones on November 25, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      leena Hi Leena, In the beginning to cultivate a new habit start by making a ritual with an anchor for writing your 3 Gratitudes.  Perhaps every night after dinner you set aside a few moments to complete this easy and tranformative task.  Let me know how you make out!
      Dr. Jones

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