21 Days to a More Optimistic You

Psychologist and best-selling author Shawn Achor has made a career studying the science of happiness.

His research shows you can rewire your brain to make yourself happy by practicing simple happiness activities every day for three weeks. The exercises can transform a pessimist into an optimist in just 21 days.

Not surprisingly, many practices that lead to happiness revolve around gratitude.

So as we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States this week, let’s take a gratitude challenge together. Starting today and continuing for the next 21 days, incorporate these practices into your daily routine:


  • Write three unique things each day for which you are grateful.

You will have 63 unique gratitude markers at the end of the three weeks.  

  • Reflect on one meaningful experience from the last 24 hours. Take 2 minutes and write a journal entry describing that experience with as much detail as possible.

Research shows that writing about the experience is cognitively like experiencing the event the first time. 

  • Begin each day by sending a positive, encouraging text or e-mail to 21 different individuals (one per day).

Social connectedness is an extraordinary predictor of long-term health and well-being. And everyone loves getting messages of thanks and encouragement.

By mid-December, you will be a more positive person and leader, and your spirit, family, friends, and world needs that!


Brian Rutherford

Brian Rutherford is Director of Content and Product Strategy for Leadercast. Brian has been telling stories professionally for twenty-five years. Stories that inspire people to see themselves and the world differently. Stories that challenge people to take meaningful action in the world.

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