You may think that when you get to a certain level of income, or find the right life partner, that you will be truly happy. But the research shows just the opposite is true. You need to be happy first, and then the success, relationships and accomplishment will come.
The latest research out of Harvard on happiness is that the most successful business people, entrepreneurs, doctors and workers are happy first. Our brains are actually wired to work at maximum creativity, resilience and effectiveness when we are in a state of relaxation and joy. Consider this:
• Doctors put in a positive state before diagnosing show 3x more intelligence and creativity & make diagnoses 19% faster than doctors in a neutral state.
• Optimistic salespeople sell 56% more than pessimists. (Are your salespeople optimists?)
• Happy students far outperform their peers on tests.1
So how can you get happier?
The old maxim “what you put your focus on manifests” is entirely true. When I was researching and writing my book on stress, I was very attuned to stress; it was my focus. And so, I attracted more of it into my life (subconsciously, of course.) During the year preceding my stress book being published, my sister–in-law died of melanoma, three girlfriends battled cancer and I faced some significant dental issues.
The contrary is also true. Since I have been researching happiness, the quality of my life is significantly better. My husband got a great new job 7 months ago, my friends are coping well with their illnesses. I still have some dental issues but they are being handled easily and effectively. I am the one who made the switch to be happier, and you can, too.
If you’ve been worrying about paying your bills, getting more business, or your health, a much better use of your time and energy would be to focus on getting happy.
Your health and cash flow will improve in direct proportion to your genuinely positive attitude and optimistic perspective.
Here are 3 quick ways to increase your happiness
1. Celebrate your successes- large and small. Create a victory wall at work where you post achievements of any level- articles that have been published about you, your people or your company, progress on work goals. Praise others publicly and specifically, and encourage them to do the same.
2. Find something to look forward to. In one study, people who just thought about watching their favorite movie had an increase of 27% in endorphins- just from thinking about it. Every time something stressful occurs, think about what you are looking forward to and shift your state of mind.
3. Do something you love to do for fun at least 3 times a week. Schedule in your favorite activities and don’t give them up- they will make a huge difference in how you joyful you are and how successful you are at work.
Your life can thrive in all areas, but you need to thrive first. Take the time to really focus on your own happiness and see how it impacts everything!
1. (Data from the book The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor)