The Happiness Advantage: 3 ways to be both happy and successful
“If I work harder, I will be successful. If I am successful, I will be happier.”
This has become a mantra for most of us—one that we echo to ourselves when papers pile up at work, when the well runs dry, when we feel far away from our goals. We tend to believe that our external world is predictive of our internal happiness levels. We will be happy, we tell ourselves, once we see our hard work manifested into money, or xyz. Isn’t this the secret to enjoying our work?
Harvard graduate Shawn Achor would say, no, that we’ve got it backwards.
In his hilarious TED Talk, The Happy Secret to Better Work, Achor talks about ‘The Happiness Advantage.’ He says that “our brains function better when we are happy rather than negative, neutral, or stressed.”
We continue to expand our goals, pushing happiness even further away, and forget to celebrate our accomplishments along the way. Achor asks us to consider the way your brain processes the world. If we “change the formula for happiness and success, then we can affect and change reality.”
Here are 3 things you can change now for a happy advantage:
1) Change your formula for happiness. In place of thinking happiness comes from our achievements, and the external world, believe that our successes follow our happiness.
2) Celebrate your victories! Instead of constantly raising the bar without celebrating your accomplishments and victories, revel in reaching your goals to avoid burnout, and encourage continual growth.
3) Change your language. For example, instead of thinking of a “sick day” at home as a day where you are miserable and dysfunctional, think of a sick day as a “wellness day”—a day to let your body recover and heal. Your body will listen to your language!