One of the reasons I love working at BlueChannel is I’m surrounded by good people. My colleagues and clients engage me in a positive way and I feel a part of something bigger than the task at hand, the service or project we’re delivering. I feel like I’m cultivating success and developing community.

Paul (BlueChannel’s Owner/President) and I recently read both of Shawn Achor’s books (The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness) to see if we could help make BlueChannel an even happier place. I didn’t know what to expect and feared the books would be packed with useless self-help nonsense which, frankly, I find a bore. What strikes me about Shawn’s books, though, is he seats positive psychology not in some pie-in-the-sky version of life, but in reality. And that works for me.

Over the years, in both my professional and personal life, I feel I have been naturally gravitating toward a more positive frame of mind and outlook. This doesn’t mean my life is without challenges or letdowns, it means those challenges and letdowns don’t pull me into the abyss of self-doubt, discouragement and helplessness nearly as frequently. My new baseline is higher and healthier and the lows are not quite as devastating. Shawn’s books have given us a vernacular in which to discuss these ideas.

What do you do personally or professionally to increase your and others’ overall happiness?

Shawn says there are three predictors of happiness; optimism, social connection, and how we perceive stress. And, we can increase our experience of happiness by following five key steps:

  1. Bring gratitude to mind
  2. Journal
  3. Exercise
  4. Meditate
  5. Engage in random, conscious acts of kindness

What if we all followed the steps for three weeks or a month? What would it mean if your interactions with others and the way you felt about yourself were more positive? Changing mindset and habits is possible; the research and my own experience provide testament.

It may seems strange for a project manager at a web hosting and development company to post about happiness and positive psychology, but I believe we have the power to affect positive change regardless of our position, socioeconomic disposition, or geographic location. Like a pebble thrown into a pond, we can watch the rippling effect.

We interact. It seems reasonable to me to strive to make that interaction as positive as possible.

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