At, we believe in the power of positive energy. For that reason, we encourage our employees to participate in social, upbeat activities inside and outside of the company’s walls. One of the activities we offer to employees here at is listening to speakers from all walks of life share stories of life, love, success and more! We invite these guests to our office in Arlington Heights, Ill., with the hope of helping at least one employee develop a “glass half full” attitude.  We’re happy to report that all of the speakers thus far have left most of our employees feeling positive and empowered. It’s amazing how sharing life experiences with a total stranger can turn a so-so day into a great day.

Most recently, was honored to host Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage and one of the world’s leading experts on human potential. Shawn has researched and lectured in 42 countries, working to bridge the gap between the science of happiness and performance in our everyday lives. Shawn challenged everyone in the company to create happiness in our personal and professional lives because happiness = success. To do this, he assigned each of us homework. The homework was to choose one of the following activities to participate in for three weeks straight (because it takes 21 days to develop a habit), and report back with whether or not we feel happier.

The activities include:

  1. Exercising
  2. Meditating
  3. Thanking someone every day
  4. Conducting random acts of kindness
  5. Writing what you are thankful for every day

Each of us on the blog team has picked one of the activities above and shared our thoughts below. If there’s something you do to create happiness in your life, please share it below. We want to spread the positive energy! (We also recommend reading Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage. It’s inspiring!)

Christin – I have chosen to thank someone in my life every day. Whether it’s calling an old friend and telling them that I’m grateful for the memories we’ve shared, or sending an email to a coworker expressing my gratitude for their help on a project, I believe now that a simple “thank you” can put a smile on anyone’s face.

Elizabeth – I have chosen to start working exercise into my daily routine.  It’s been quite some time since I worked out on a regular basis, but taking a nightly run instead of hitting the couch helps me clear my head after a long day and puts me in a great mood.  I have more energy throughout the next day and feel good about doing something positive for my health.

Phil – I have been saying that “I really need to start exercising more” for years now and I am really going to make the effort to do it this time! The hardest part for me has always been that there are just so many other things I would rather do than work out. Some examples include: taking a nap, watching TV, playing a video game or taking a second nap. My plan is to wake up 45-minutes early each day to work out and eat a good breakfast before starting my day. I can honestly say that this is the most motivated I have ever been to start exercising regularly, so hopefully this time it sticks!

Jen – Confessions of a gratitude dropout: I want you to know that I LOVED Shawn’s presentation. It was absolutely inspiring. It made me want to be a better person. And for 72 hours, I was. I wrote emails to people I hadn’t talked to in years, my list of gratitudes was kicking major butt; I even did morning calisthenics for THREE WHOLE DAYS. And after just three days, I could already feel the teeniest change taking root. Then life got in the way. I’ve officially felt guilty about this for 18 days now. But here’s the thing, I’m positive that my guilt is the opposite of Shawn’s intention. So, this morning, I called my dad and my brother on the way to work. I left messages saying I loved them, how proud I was of them and how I couldn’t wait to spend time with them. I silently thanked the heavens for the stunning display of perfect, billowy, cotton-candy clouds stretching across the entire skyline. I resolved that today I will be thankful. Wish me luck on tomorrow!