Shawn Achor is funny and smart. His rhetoric is hypnotic and powerfully addictive.

When charged to write a reviewing  this twelve and a half minute talk on the stage of TedX, I didn’t know what to do. Sure, it was easy to watch Shawn deftly cut through the rhetoric we live by into a keen idea of Positivity and Hope. But after the third time watching I found myself forgetting to write as I sat mesmerized by his finely honed speech.

He posits something totally against the grain of our current industry of Medical Science. Then he mock’s the Phsychiatric industry by pointing out the short-sighted nature of medication in place of hands-on and holistic treatment.

This is a description of the field of “Positive Psychology”.

A recent branch of psychology whose purpose was summed up in 1998 by Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: “We believe that a psychology of positive human functioning will arise, which achieves a scientific understanding and effective interventions to build thriving in individuals, families, and communities.”Positive psychologists seek “to find and nurture genius and talent”, and “to make normal life more fulfilling”, not simply to treat mental illness. [wikipedia: “positive psychology”]

Imagine that? To nurture us, rather than diminish our brightness so we “fit in with the crowd”.

Shawn Achor

Shawn continues his talk with a dreaded graph, yet manages to make the audience laugh all the way through.

The data from this graph is what gets Shawn so excited. The SINGLE point of data outside the neat and pretty line has deep meaning to him, and like-minded individuals.

The dot outside the neat slope of organized dots is “clearly wrong” says Shawn, “because it’s messing up my data.”

But instead of deleting that point of data he uses it to decry that we are original, unique beings capable of potential beyond our current ideas.

What an amazing idea.

To find out more about Shawn and his book “The Happiness Advantage” go to

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