Ep. 25: Secrets for a Happy Brain

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The Dalai Lama once said, “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” Shelby and Josh set out to prove the Dalai Lama right, with Josh’s decision to just be happy, a discussion about what makes for a happy brain, and an interview with best-selling author and positive psychologist Shawn Achor about strategies for intentional happiness and the power it has to bring about big change.

“Small positive actions every day add up to large changes over time as you gradually build new neural structures,” authors Rick Hanson and Dr. Richard Mendius write in the 2009 book Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom. Josh and Shelby discuss the neuropsychologist-proven ways that we can use our minds to make ourselves feel happy, as well as Gretchen Rubin’s research that found small actions can make a big difference in daily happiness.


  • Happiness can, in fact, be measured. Learn how Shawn Achor used individual measures of depression or disorder to help quantify individual levels of happiness or gratitude.
  • If it can be measured, maybe it can be raised: The theory scientists used to make happiness more like a science
  • Is happiness really a choice? The surprising answer why it’s like a habit that you have to practice often
  • 4 happiness exercises that will help make being happy a daily habit
  • Learn why being happy can make you perform better

Favorite quote from this episode:

“The greatest competitive advantage in the modern economy is a positive and engaged brain.”

Shawn Achor

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SUCCESS Insider is a weekly podcast to engage, educate and inspire emerging leaders and success seekers.

Every week, SUCCESS.com’s Shelby Skrhak and SUCCESS magazine’s Josh Ellis will discuss the latest trends in personal empowerment, entrepreneurship and career development. We’ll dig into books, ideas and news you’ll want to know about. We’ll chat with special guests, including authors, industry experts, business leaders, trendsetters on our staff and other all-around successful people. And we’ll have a lot of fun doing it. Join us!

Catch up on all episodes at SUCCESS.com/podcasts.


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