We All Could Do With a Little More “Happy”

A parent of one of my students recently sent me this video:

Shawn Achor encourages us to think differently about the correlation between success and happiness. Many people would say that if you become successful, you will be happy.  Achor argues that if your focus is first on being happy, success will follow and your happiness will be longer lasting as it is built into the fabric of who you are, rather than pinned to reaching your latest goal, target or sales figures.

Students in the fourth grade class next to me, have recently watched this video and started a 21 day happiness journal via Hapyr. Each day the students choose to write three things they are grateful for and/or a happy memory they had in the last 24 hours.

Hapyr

I have recently become a big fan of TEDEd: Lessons Worth Sharing.  This is a great resource for teachers who want to find a video (from TED talks or on YouTube) and then create a lesson for students by ‘flipping’ the video = providing guided content after watching the video that students can do at their own pace (at home or school). One of the great things about it, is that if you find something you like but the creator hasn’t asked quite the questions you were hoping to have your students dig into, you can ‘flip’ the lesson yourself and rework it to suit your own class.

Here is the TEDEd Lesson I created using Shawn Achor’s “The Happy Secret To Better Work”.

Here is a SKITCH screengrab explaining the features of TEDEd:

TEDEd - Happiness

Have you used TEDEd or Skitch? What are your thoughts?

What is ONE thing you could do RIGHT NOW in order to be happier?

Write Your Story – Change History

All the great things that haven’t happened yet, are history waiting to happen.

Brad Meltzer presents this idea and more in his passionate, inspired TED talk: Write Your Story, Change History

His three main points:

Dream Big

Martin Luther King Jr. was 26, Amelia Earhart was 25 and Steve Jobs was 21 when they all made their mark on the world. If you dream big, no matter how old you are, you can change history.

Work Hard

The hardest work of all is being resilient in the face of failure. Every time the Wright brothers went out to fly their aircraft, they took extra materials for all the crashes.  They knew they were going to fail and they kept trying anyway.

Stay Humble

No one likes a jerk and the world needs fewer loudmouths – so stay humble.

All history is is stories. To change history, all you have to do is write your story. You will change history – in big ways or in small ways – and both are equally important.  History is changed when you write your story.  You will have moments when you will doubt, wonder if you will succeed, or wonder if you should give up.  The good news?  You don’t have to create a multi-million dollar change overnight. You can start by being kind to one person. And you will change the world if you do something beyond yourself.

Every life makes history and every life is a story. What is yours?

What makes your heros important to you?

How have you ever changed history?

Do you agree with Meltzer that simple things done by ordinary people can help change history forever?