Groundbreaking Book “Positivity” Defines 3 to 1
As Ideal Happiness Ratio

by Brian Vaszily, Founder of

Most people’s habit is to skim read on the Internet because everyone is so busy, busy, busy. But please slow down for just a few minutes, take a deep breath or two, answer the following questions, and read this one through … this article really will help you in some powerful ways.

With the bad economy, and with whatever challenges you face in your personal life, are you feeling particularly stressed out? Worried? Upset or depressed? Overwhelmed? Perhaps lonely, angry or generally edgy?

You likely answered yes to one or more of the above. You are certainly not alone.

No matter where you live, it is quite apparent that people en masse are more emotionally on edge than we’ve seen in a long time. Perhaps more than we’ve ever seen.

That is why it is so important for you to know about a remarkable new finding based on scientific studies that I just discovered in an amazing new book.

This finding is a simple ratio, and it comes from one of the most respected scientists and researchers in the positive psychology movement, Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D., who is the author of the amazing new book.

And that ratio is …

3 to 1

Before I share why this 3:1 ratio is so important to you – why it can in fact change your life -- a bit of background is necessary.

In reading Dr. Fredrickson’s new book, Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive, in its entirety this past Sunday, I had one of the most drawn out “Yes!” moments of my life. (If you want to get technical, it was an ongoing series of “Yes!” moments.)

That is because the new book presents – in an easy-and-engaging-to-read style – all of the most important scientific findings from the positive psychology movement over the last decade. And it therefore lays the entire foundation for my “Intense Experiences” mission and philosophy, and particularly it confirms that The 9 Intense Experiences program is not some marginal “nice to have” guide but truly essential for anyone wishing to achieve far greater inner-peace and happiness (and the longer, healthier and more successful life that comes with it.)

Indeed, I believe Dr. Frederickson’s Positivity book is a perfect companion to The 9 Intense Experiences, and I cannot urge you strongly enough to read this new book

As you may know, “intense experiences” – a term I coined years back – are essentially simple, positive, enjoyable and highly transformative experiences that draw out your self-awareness, inner-strengths, positive energy and overall greater happiness. They inevitably lead to experiencing greater joy, peace, creativity, focus and success at whatever you deem matters most in life.

I am honored and touched that I have received many letters from those who have gone through The 9 Intense Experiences confirming this is so.

But …

While it was very satisfying reading about the extensive number of scientific studies that confirm the absolute importance of proactively engaging in positive and transformative experiences, which I have been touting in the free Intense Experiences newsletter for several years, I had an especially big “Ah Ha!” moment when reading about the ratio that Dr. Frederickson discovered in all her research:

To paraphrase it, she discovered that for every one negative experience you have in life, you should actively engage in three positive experiences to offset the negative experience’s impact and indeed to thrive.

Anything But Shlock

With this 3:1 ratio in mind, let me reiterate: Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D. is one of today’s most respected research psychologists. Her groundbreaking theory of “broaden and build,” for example, answered a question that had long plagued researchers; in short, it explained the powerful benefit to individuals and society as a whole of having positive, transformative experiences.

These benefits include, but are not limited to, enabling creativity, innovation, greater health and longevity. (Read the book for some truly fascinating insight on this topic … it was an eye-opener for me and provided me with even more motivation and passion for the importance of intense experiences!)

Other highly esteemed researchers, like Martin Seligman, Ph.D., who many consider the founder of positive psychology, Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology at Harvard University, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ph.D., author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, have praised her book and work.

Which is all to say, this ratio of proactively engaging in three positive experiences for every one negative experience is deeply worth your consideration if you want to live a happier, healthier, longer and more successful life.

A ¾ Masterpiece

I think the term “masterpiece” is thrown around too loosely these days, so I don’t use it lightly.

That said, I can confidently call Dr. Frederickson’s book a three-fourths masterpiece … and I can easily say it is one book you absolutely must read as soon as possible.The entire book is exceptional and utterly important, but where it tapers away from masterpiece quality is in about the final one-fourth of the book.

That is because that is where she makes her recommendations on how to put the essential information she provided in the first three-fourths of the book to practical use in your life.

In short, she is right on with the general areas of advice she offers in the final quarter.

But her practical recommendations are only very general.

Again, though, that is why I am so excited about this book, and call it a perfect compliment to The 9 Intense Experiences.

I realize many people need to know – indeed SHOULD know – why intentionally having intense experiences is at least just as important to health, happiness, longevity and success as eating right and exercising. Dr. Frederickson’s book Positivity does a masterful job of explaining that.

The 9 Intense Experiences, meanwhile, provides the specific intense experiences you can DO … I call them “exercises," and you will find over sixty-five of them there throughout the 9 Intense Experiences … to rapidly and deeply bring their incredible benefits into your life.

A Promise

To conclude, here’s a promise:

If you read Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive and go through even just some of the exercises in The 9 Intense Experiences, you absolutely will elevate your life in many amazing ways. You will thrive – apparently one of Dr. Frederickson’s favorite words, and one of mine too – versus merely survive.

Especially if you answered yes to any of the questions I began this article with. Especially in challenging times like these.

I have said it before and I will say it again. Just as positive change is inevitable when you incorporate exercise or eating right into your life, positive change is inevitable when you incorporate simple, positive, enjoyable and highly transformative experiences – what I call “intense experiences” – into your life.

At a three to one ratio with negative experiences, to be precise about it.