HAPPINESS = SUCCESS
Many people think that they will be happy once they become successful. They keep on living in the ‘waiting-mode,’ rehearsing life and not truly living.
The algorithm of success actually works the other way: When you are happy, you will be successful. It has to do with loving what you do. As Albert Schwietzer put it: “If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
Research has now proved Albert Schweitzer right: when you feel fulfilled at work by doing what you love, your overall happiness at work directly correlates to your success at work.
In his book entitled “The Happiness Advantage,” Shawn Achor, an award-winning author who teaches one of the most popular classes at Harvard, challenges readers to do one brief positive exercise every day for 21 days:
- Write down three new things you are grateful for each day;
- Write for two minutes a day describing one positive experience you had over the past 24 hours;
- Exercise for 10 minutes a day;
- Meditate for two minutes, focusing on your breath going in and out;
- Write one quick email first thing in the morning thanking or praising someone in your social support network (family member, friend, old teacher).
But does it work, you may ask?
In the midst of the worst tax season in history, Shawn Achor did a three-hour intervention at auditing and tax accounting firm KPMG, describing how to reap the happiness advantage by creating one of these positive habits.
Four months later, there was a 24% improvement in job and life satisfaction.
This is one of the first long-term ROI (return on investment) studies proving that happiness leads to long-term quantifiable positive change.*
This research shows that happy workers are productive workers as well.
The writer of this blog has taught a class on the topic of Self-Leadership for several years where MBA students are encouraged to keep a gratitude journal and under take a mega self-improvement project, among other things. Students taking this course have repeatedly reported that self-understanding and self-improvement initiatives have led to positive workplace outcomes such as better engagement at work, job promotion, better control of emotional well-being, more productive team work, and so forth. Above all, the course has contributed to their overall fulfillment, personally and professionally.
Happiness is not only the key to success in the business of life; it is also the key to success in the life of business as well.
As most people are as happy as they choose to be, choose to be happy and live a fulfilled life.
* Based on “Is happiness the secret of success?” By Shawn Achor, Special to CNN, March 19, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2016: http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/19/opinion/happiness-success-achor/