Dr. Riekeman on a Happy L.I.F.E.

“I saw a commercial recently that said, “we’re number one but we’re not stopping here.”  That’s really  [how things are at] Life University.  I just introduced to the students at an assembly today, a program that we’re going to be engaging in at Life University for the next year.  It’s about positive psychology and what it does is begin to change the lens on how you see the world.  And by doing that, they’ve found that people are almost 40% more productive in dealing with problems.  Doctors, for example, are 19% more effective in making diagnoses if their brains, as Shawn Achor says, are working at positive versus neutral or negative or stressed.

“So there are five behaviors we’re going to be doing at Life University as a community.   We’re going to be writing three gratitudes a day, because by doing that you start to scan your environment for the positive rather than the negative.  And you can begin to retrain your brain how to do that in 21 days.

“We’re also going be allowing people and asking them to do meditation for a few minutes every day.  Quietly, just stilling the inside, to stop the ADHD that’s going on in the world – in this multi-tasking world – so people can focus and be more productive.

“Another thing that we’re going to do, is ask people to send out one thank-you through email to someone in their support structure.  A fourth issue has to do with journaling a positive experience so you relive it every day.  And then finally, do a few minutes of exercise every day, consistently for 21 days which tells your brain that behavior matters.

“We think we can alter the culture.  We know there are statistics – we’re going to expect our National Board scores to go up, our graduation rates to increase. We’re going to expect people to be more proud and happy to be at Life University.  We think we can make a massive difference.  And so this is what we call “Happy L.I.F.E.” (Life In Focus Experiment) over the next year.  We’re number one at Life University, but we’re not stopping here and we need your support now, more than ever.”