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How Positive Thinking Builds Your Skills, Boosts Your Health, and Improves Your Work

Positive thinking sounds useful on the surface. (Most of us would prefer to be positive rather than negative.) But, “positive thinking” is also a soft and fluffy term that is easy to dismiss. In the real world, it rarely carries the same weight as words like “work ethic” or “persistence.”

But those views may be changing.

Research is beginning to reveal that positive thinking is about much more than just being happy or displaying an upbeat attitude. Positive thoughts can actually create real value in your life and help you build skills that last much longer than a smile.

The impact of positive thinking on your work, your health, and your life is being studied by people who are much smarter than me. One of these people is Barbara Fredrickson.

Fredrickson is a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina and she published a landmark paper that provides surprising insights about positive thinking and it’s impact on your skills. Her work is among the most referenced and cited in her field and it is surprisingly useful in everyday life.

Let’s talk about Fredrickson’s discovery and what it means for you…
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Natural Happiness: The Truth About Exercise and Depression

We all want to be happy.

But is there anything you can actually do to feel happier more often? Or at the very least… can you limit the likelihood that you’ll feel sad and depressed?

There isn’t a single perfect answer, of course, but research is starting to reveal the incredible connection between our physical actions and our mental health. In fact, it’s very possible that what you do can have a significant impact on how you feel.

As an example, let’s take a look at the link between exercise and depression.
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5 Simple Ways to Be Happy: Try These Today

We all want to be happy. But what is happiness?

Here’s one definition…

Happiness is simply the ability to not want more; to find gratitude and satisfaction in the moment that you have right now.

In other words, your happiness hinges on living in the moment instead of yearning for some future indicator of success.

Here’s the best way I know to live in the moment…
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How to Be Happy: A Surprising Lesson on Happiness From an African Tribe

We would all love to learn how to be happy. And sometimes, the solution comes from a surprising place.

Let me tell you a story…

There was an anthropologist who had been studying the habits and culture of a remote African tribe.

He had been working in the village for quite some time and the day before he was to return home, he put together a gift basket filled with delicious fruits from around the region and wrapped it in a ribbon. He placed the basket under a tree and then he gathered up the children in the village.

The man drew a line in the dirt, looked at the children, and said, “When I tell you to start, run to the tree and whoever gets there first will win the basket of the fruit.”

When he told them to run, they all took each other’s hands and ran together to the tree. Then they sat together around the basket and enjoyed their treat as a group.

The anthropologist was shocked. He asked why they would all go together when one of them could have won all the fruits for themselves?
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