Planning Unpredictable Inspiration

(Reprinted from

Every morning, by routine, I hand write a list of at least three things I am grateful are in my life. The list is different every day. Today I’m grateful for a warm bed, healthy cats, happy partner, blooming geraniums in my window, the invitation to write this post, electricity and internet connection, fun projects and time to work on them today.

And at this point you’re thinking, “Wait a minute, bucko, this is about inspiration not gratitude. I don’t really care about your blooming geraniums. Besides, geraniums are summer plants – I think you just might be lying.”

Studies from pointy-headed researchers show that our brains function better when we are in a state of happiness than when we are stressed, depressed, anxious, fearful and/or paranoid. We are more creative when we are happy. We are more productive. We are more accurate in our work. We are less likely to leave the cap off the toothpaste and blame it on the cat.

But you can’t just announce “I’m gonna be happy no matter what and anyone who makes me unhappy is getting tofu for Christmas.” Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. And some people like tofu. Pity them.

These same pointy-headed people determined that you need to do something routinely everyday to change the wiring in your brain, which will then change your perspective on tofu and your outlook on life. After several weeks listing your gratitudes your mind begins to recognize things you are grateful for and happy about throughout the entire day.

The next step, keep up with me here, is that when your brain tells you automatically that you are fortunate because your life is good – despite all the not-so good things, your inspired mind is released to go have fun. It’s as if you were keeping that child locked in the Harry Potter closet before and now it has a broom and wand of its own and is ready to wreak creative havoc every place you go.

None of this is my idea, though you might think it when looking at my balding pointy-head. Shawn Achor wrote a book, The Happiness Advantage, that brings all these techno-babble studies together and basically lays it out in one concise message: We can rewire our brains through repetitive behavior to live happily inspired.

You don’t have to believe me. Here’s Shawn explaining it in the funniest 12 minutes that will change your life.

And yes, the geraniums are blooming.

-Paul Bright Film Producer/Director