Happiness is the Key to Success

Posted: October, 23, 2014 | Categories: Uncategorized

Many of us believe that becoming successful will bring happiness, but in actuality it is the opposite. According to Shawn Achor, bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage and graduate of Harvard, people with happiness 'superpowers'? are more successful in the business world.

Being happy all the time is impossible, but there are things that we can do to be happier in life, which will ultimately impact our work. Throughout his research, Achor found that success comes when people focus on optimism, social connection and the way a person perceives stress. Why? Achor explains that intelligence and technical skills can only predict 25 percent of success, while 75 percent of long term job success is determined by optimism, social connection and the way a person perceives stress.  Here is a deeper look into what he found:

Success Brings Happiness? No. Happiness Brings Success. ­

We all have to stop hoping that work will make us happy and cut phrases such as 'I will be happy once I get that promotion'? or 'I will be happy once I get that raise'? out of our vocabulary. By achieving a goal (promotion or raise) at work, we are happy for a short time, but then we are looking for the next big thing. That can lead to stress, tiredness and more. Also known as, not happy!

Instead of focusing on goals to make you happy, focus on your attitude and raise your levels of optimism. That will lead to greater success. For example, MET Life started hiring people based on optimism and found that the optimistic group of salespeople outsold their pessimistic counterparts by 19 percent in year one and 57 percent in year two.

See Problems as Challenges, Not Threats

Stress at work can sometimes overtake our life, especially when we perceive problems as threats. Right after the huge banking crisis hit, Achor did a study of bankers where he found that some were incredibly stressed, but some were happy. The question is 'what was the difference?'? The difference is that the 'happy'? bankers saw problems as a challenge that could be overcome.

To change the mindset of those that were stressed out, Achor showed a video that explained how to see stress as a challenge. Following the video, Achor studied the bankers over the next three to six weeks and found a 23 percent drop in their stress-related symptoms. Less stress equals happier and more productive employees.

Twice as Much Work Means you Need Friends Twice as Much

Now that we understand how optimism and stress affects success, it is important to look at your social connections. Sometimes work can become too much or we have too many projects on our plate, but that doesn't mean we should cancel plans to work late. During his research, Achor found that individuals who made time for social connections '“ even in the middle of high stress situations '“ were more likely to be successful. In fact, social connection is the greatest predictor of happiness he found during his research and it trumps everything else, every time.

Now that we understand that being happier can significantly impact your work success, how do you change your attitude? Here are some tips:

  1. Send a Thank You Email Every Morning '“ Each morning, make it a habit to send a thank you email praising one person that you know. Not only will it make their day, but it will help you build a deeper social connection and improve teamwork.
  2. Exercise '“ Thanks to Legally Blonde, we all know that exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy, so make time to exercise each day. It doesn't have to be a long session, as long as you are making it a habit, and if you do it in the morning before work, even better. Not sure you can make yourself get up that early, Achor recommends the 20-second rule. If you make new habits 20 seconds easier to start, then it will be easier to get started. For example, by sleeping in your gym clothes and putting your sneakers next to your bed, you save yourself the time of finding your clothes in the morning.
  3. List the Things You're Grateful For '“ When we are stressed, it is easy to forget the things that make life so great. When you are going through a stressful situation or have a pessimistic attitude, take a few minutes to actually write a list of things you are grateful for. It could change your entire week.

Changing your attitude to 'happy'? may seem like a daunting task, but it is simpler than you think. What will you do today to make yourself happier and more successful in the long run?

As a real estate staffing agency, we are dedicated to helping you be successful in your career. For more information on our current job opportunities, visit the JWilliams Staffing website today.

By JoAnne Williams
Founder, President and CEO

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