Sketchnote: Shawn Achor on the happy secret to better work

Shawn Achor small

Sometimes the economical and political realities at work can crush even the best of intentions, making us see obstacles as problems not opportunities.

I remember a meeting some weeks ago. We were discussing approaches to create a better future for our clients and ourselves. What started off with the best of intentions ended with the realization that we currently didn’t have the time or resources to make our dreams come true.

Heads hanging, dreams crushed, everyone was slowly getting up to leave, when I remembered Shawn Achor’s talk on the happy secret to better work.

“Wait!” I shouted. “Let’s think about three positive things that happened to you today and share them!”

Everyone looked at me as if I had gone mad.

“I’m happy that today is a sunny day, that I’m healthy and that together we tried to create a better future.” I started.

One after the other we shared what made our day special. With spirits lifted, a smile on the face, we left slightly more optimistic, our brains already working on alternative routes to a better future.

I hope Shawn Achor’s “secrets” will help you make work a happier place.



  1. Alex Jones

    Changing words changes how self relates to the world i.e problem becomes challenge.

    You are right, how self perceives world, self, and relationship between self and world, largely impacts personal prosperity (health, happiness, abundance.)

    I said this before, I love your wisdom and sketches.

    • When I was new to blogging I read your post about “Blogging and your readers”. It is so true what you wrote: “Commenting is part of developing a relationship with the readers”. Everytime I post something I silently look forward to read your comment. Makes blogging so much more fun. Thank you.

  2. Great Sketchnote. I’m planning to show the video to my students and I’m thinking of giving this sketchnote printout as their ‘takeaway’. Are you OK with that? May also share this with my high school basketball team.

  3. Philip, this is Alexis from Shawn’s office. We’d love to share your sketch note on our website. Would that be okay with you? … if so, can you send me an approved version? Thanks!

    • Hi Alexis, so cool! Feel free to share my sketch note. Shawn’s presentation was an inspiration, I feel honored if you share the sketch on goodthinkinc. Would you link back to my post or site? That would be wonderful, so that someone interested in this sketch would have a simple access to the other drawings and posts.

  4. Pingback: Rebuild: Good Think Inc | Reboot.Rebuild.Resolution

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