Happy Work #1 😁

So, we’re here at the beginning of our course, we’ve looked at the REPL, we’ve started playing with some code. Pretty gentle introduction. Maybe we’ve had a couple frustrations… that happens. So let’s do some happy work.

Is success happiness? Or is happiness success?

Omg happiness. Happiness! Happiness researcher Shawn Achor says the research tells us if we are happier, we work smarter. So my goal today is not only to talk Python and all the super super cool stuff it can do, but also talk about all of the humans here in this room, how we can support our own and others’ happiness, and how that can make us better at the work we choose to do in the world.

We’ll be stopping do do these happiness breaks throughout the tutorial. I want to ask you to try it, even if it seems like ridiculous hippy nonsense. Just try. Plus, there’s a lot of science behind this, so you can put a lab coat on that hippy in your mind if it helps.

You can find a summary of the exercises we’ll be doing here.

Three Gratitudes

The first thing we’re going to do is work on gratitudes. We’re going to scan our lives, or the room, or this beautiful city, and write down three things that we’re grateful for. Three things. They can be anything. It doesn’t matter if it feels silly or unimportant or like something no one else would be grateful for.

Why It Works

Gratitude actually changes our brains. Taking the time to scan the world for good things trains your brain to look out for them. And suddenly it’s easier to see beautiful things than it is to see the yucky ones. Bad and hurtful things are great at grabbing and holding our attention. It’s easy for your world view to become dark and sad if you let your brain do its thing.

Or, we can interrupt that process and build our gratitude muscle to give the good things in life equal footing in our brains as the bad things. Studies show that an increased capacity for gratitude increases willpower, keeps you chill by lowering cortisol and other cool stuff, and can make for a happier work environment. So… let’s get started.

Open up the REPL (make sure you see >>>), and type three gratitudes in three different strings. Anything you want, anything that brings you joy.