Happiness: This is what we all pursue. And how we go about doing it? We believe that we have to work hard and be successful and when we are successful we will be happy. Most of us just clamber on this treadmill towards success in the hope that the inevitable by-product of success will be happiness. Unfortunately success is a moving target. Once we achieve something it automatically leads us to chase after newer goals. Happiness and success forever remain on opposite sides of the fence and just as a “final” success never materializes nor does the promised happiness.
Psychologist Shawn Achor argues, in this fast moving and entertaining Ted talk, that we have got the equation backwards. We need to be happy to be successful and not the other way round. Every single business outcome improves when a brain is happy. Sales and productivity improve more than 30% when we are happy as opposed to being neutral or stressed. Our brains learning centers are activated when we are happy. Our ability to learn, our creativity, our intelligence, and our energy levels rise when we are happy. Happiness leads to success, not the other way round.
In his talk Shawn Achor provides immediate steps that we can take to increase happiness:
- Spending 2 minutes every day for 21 days thinking of three new things that we can be grateful about can lead to a improvement in our happiness levels.
- Taking 10 minutes every day to journal one positive experience in the past 24 hours can lead to improved levels of happiness.
- One positive e-mail every day to one person in our social network can improve happiness levels.
- Regular exercise and/or daily 20 minutes of meditation are also known to improve happiness levels
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