The Happiness Advantage: Accentuate the Positive


When I was a little girl I remember my dad trying to teach me swing dancing in our living room to Bing Crosby’s, “Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive,” a clever little tune written by Johnny Mercer. Maybe you remember the chorus?

You’ve gotta ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive
E-lim-inate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between.

You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Otherwise pandemonium
Liable to walk upon the scene

Even at the age of six or seven I recognized that the lyrics, albeit clever, made a whole lot of sense. (Plus I learned what ‘accentuate’ meant!) That memory and those lyrics immediately popped into my head when I was visiting the website BigThink and ran across a short goodie from Shawn Achor, one of my favorite thinkers.

In the video below, I couldn’t help but notice the analogies between the study of positive psychology as it relates to productivity and business and what we’ve been teaching our clients for years. If you simply substitute all the business verbiage with your own weight-struggling journey, you might have your own ‘ah ha!’ moment. I know I did.

(Email viewers, head to the blog to watch.)

So, if you’ve ever experienced success only to tell yourself it should have been more or better, you might want to consider moving into happiness now, use that power, THEN set a target that’s really on your horizon.

What targets have you moved lately?

More from the founder of Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman.

4 responses to “The Happiness Advantage: Accentuate the Positive”

  1. Tammie Grey says:

    It’s good to always think the best things in life.

  2. cindy says:

    Yes, I think we’d all like to err on the side of positivity.

  3. Deborah says:

    Oh yes…. I’m a cynical pessimist, or pessimistic cynic. One or the other. I say that means I’m never surprised or disappointed, but really it’s just a defence mechanism. I know that.

    I need to be less ‘glass half empty’.

  4. […] If you really think about it, being happy is the ultimate goal, the reason we might strive to do almost anything. Everyone wants to be happy. […]

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