Do you want to be successful? If you clicked on this blog, and are a living breathing human, odds are you do. Do you want to be happy? Once again, you probably do. I even bet that you think that success and happiness are related to each other. You would be right, they are strongly related to each other, but just not in the way you might think.
In today’s corporate society we are taught through media and culture that first we must be successful and then we will be happy. Once we get that promotion, that dream job, or make a certain amount of money, only then will we be happy. What you may not realize is that this line of logic is actually completely backwards and if you live life like this you will never reach that point of success, as it is a moving target. Getting your dream job only gives you so much happiness before you change your idea of success to your next target. It has been scientifically proven that happiness is what leads to success, not the other way around. This phenomenon has been coined by the amazing Shawn Achor as “The Happiness Advantage”.
Happier people enjoy greater success because they are able to a approach the world from a different perspective than that of an unhappy, neutral, or stressed person. In fact, they don't just see success in the workplace. A positive brain results in significantly raised levels of creativity, intelligence, and energy, creating success both in every aspect of work and home life as well. The fact is your brain is 37% more productive when happy. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
At this point I know what you’re thinking: This is all great if you are happy, but what if you’re not? One of the most amazing things about the brain is it’s incredible capacity to change. I am going to share two scientifically proven ways you can become happier. If you practice these two, or even one of these tactics starting today over a three week period, I guarantee you will feel the results. If not, you know where to find me (IG: @corcordavis1).
Tactic #1: Yoga
Don’t stop reading yet. I know, I know… yoga is expensive and you’re just not really “into that kind of thing”. I have good news for you, the type of yoga I am about to suggest requires no guru and no class. All you need is yourself and your consciousness. Yoga is about being in the moment. It is about being. It is a non-judgemental view of your world. This can be accomplished in many ways that require no extra time out of your busy schedule. For example, washing the dishes at home could be your yoga, walking your dog could be your yoga, or maybe taking 5 minutes before bed to watch your breath could be your yoga. This kind of meditation has been scientifically proven to have the ability to rewire your brain and raise your levels of happiness. Simply focus on your breath, or maybe even a sound in nature. Softly focus on your chosen point of interest, close your eyes, and be. Your mind will wander. That is ok, in fact it is more than ok, it is the practice. When the mind drifts away in thought, don't judge it, simple bring yourself right back to your point of focus. Try it out for yourself and stick with it. It’s an easy trick to jumpstart your journey to happiness.
Tactic #2: The List
Another great way that has been proven to increase your level of happiness is writing a list of the top three things that you are grateful for that happened today. While this may not seem like much, this task is a powerful method for rewiring your brain. By scanning your day for the positives, over time you are essentially training your brain to look for positives over negatives. Once practiced enough, scanning your life for positives will become second nature, resulting in an immense increase in your levels of happiness and optimism.
The 2 tactics described above are scientifically proven to increase your happiness levels and start you on your journey to more success. The happiness advantage is all about your perspective. If you are able to change your perspective and see the good over the bad, you will have unlocked the superpower that will put you miles above the competition. If you would like to learn more about this concept, I strongly recommend reading the book “The Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Achor. This book is the inspiration for this blog post and I can’t begin to describe what it could do to change your life.
Director of Marketing: Digital Communications, DECA U Guelph 2017-2018
Achor, S. (2011). The happiness advantage: the seven principles that fuel success and performance at work. London: Virgin.