The Orange Frog Experience

The Orange Frog Experience

orange frog

Traditional knowledge holds that if we work really hard to be successful we will be happy. However, new studies show this may in fact be backwards; success follows happiness. Our own Natalie O’Ryan in addition to other leaders from our organization experienced this concept first hand at the Happiness Advantage – Orange Frog Workshop™  recently. This attitude changing program outlines a blueprint for escalating employee engagement as well as tapping into people’s intrinsic motivations. A positively engaged brain is the utmost competitive advantage in today’s modern economy and is CRUCIAL in rapidly changing environments much like the hospitality industry.

Orange FrogThe workshop is based the parable “The Orange Frog” composed by positive psychology guru Shawn Achor. It is a creatively inscribed parable built on Shawn’s extensive research in positive psychology about four frogs who transition from tadpoles to frogs simultaneously. In the parable green represents being ordinary or having a lack of meaning in their everyday lives, referred to as “The Thrall’. Green limits us in reaching our potential while being ‘orange’ on the other hand, represents having a positive mindset. When you have an ‘orange’ mindset you are better equipped to achieve your goals.

As the different frog characters (Bull, Misty, Plop, and Spark) conquer various obstacles and challenges, they become more ‘orange’. Spark, the positive outlier and the first one to start to turn ‘orange’, started his transition by making a conscious decision to be happy. Having an ‘orange’ mindset is not easy; to be honest, it is easier to go along with the status quo and stay green. Spark started his transition by focusing on exercise, helping others, being grateful, having small goals (that lead to big goals) and sharing triumphs. Being ‘orange’ (being positive) might seem like common sense but it is not common practice, especially in the workplace. Being happy and positive is a choice we can all make. It does however require behavioral change. If we are willing to make the necessary changes to fulfill our potential and be happy, we can improve every single business outcome significantly.

Orange FrogIt is important to realize that being orange (or positive) is not about
being dishonest with ourselves or neglecting the negativity that surrounds us. It is about altering our mindset so we can see ways to overcome obtacles, as we see Spark do in the parable. Being positive is such a valuable asset when in a leadership role but being too optimistic is possibly as detrimental as being too pessimistic. We have to establish realistic and attainable goals. Take things one-step at a time, start small, and slowly start to expand. As they say, “write a novel one page at a time”. All it takes is to allow yourself to focus on small manageable goals that are challenging enough, yet realistic, and you will soon begin to turn “orange”.

You can be relevant (average) or you can be significant (a positive ‘orange’ outlier). Which would you rather be? The choice is yours.