Yale School of Management

Amy Blankson ’06 on the Benefits of Positive Psychology

There was a moment in the midst of the economic recession where there was an incredible hunger for information about how we could deal with the uncertainty in our lives. At that time it was economic uncertainty, but that uncertainty fueled people to rethink what was going on with their lives. It revealed a fault line in the way that we had been thinking about our careers and our trajectories which followed the formula: if you work really hard, then you’ll be successful, and if you’re successful, then of course, you’ll be happy.

What the economic recession really brought to life for us was that that formula is actually broken and backward; each time your brain records a success, it just moves the goalpost for success one step further away and pushes happiness over the cognitive horizon. Instead, research from the field of positive psychology reveals that happiness leads to success, not the other way around.

A positive and engaged brain is better able to deal with uncertainty and change, as well as adopting the opportunity to see new perspectives. In fact, positivity leads to three times higher creativity, 31% higher sales, 23% lower stress, and a 50% increase in the likelihood that you’ll live to age 94—which is amazing. For me, this research really hit home. Right in the midst of the economic recession, this was something that people needed to hear, and it’s my privilege to be able to continue sharing that research all over the globe. Amy Blankson ’06, author of The Future of Happiness: 5 Modern Strategies for Balancing Productivity
and Well-Being in the Digital Era
 and co-founder of GoodThink 

About the Event

Amy Blankson presents “Exploring the Role of Happiness in Innovation,” a discussion on how to balance well-being and productivity in the modern era. The event is sponsored by the Design and Innovation Club.

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