I’m a real sucker for a good personal development or business book. I have stacks of them by my bedside, and it’s taken me a while to get to the one I’m currently devouring, but wow what a game changer this is.
Author Shawn Achor wrote ’The Happiness Advantage’ after spending over a decade researching and teaching at Harvard University, and conducting one of the largest ever studies into happiness and human potential.
He discovered that most of us have been taught from a young age that if we work hard, then we will be successful, and then we will be happy.
We hear this message at home, at school, at work and from society in general. Which explains why we chase those high grades, and promotions, and pay rises, and the bigger house or the bigger car, thinking this will eventually lead to happiness.
And yet in the course of his research, he was finding amongst his own students at Harvard that many of them were distinctly unhappy.
Achievement in itself didn’t seem to hold the key.
During his decade long hunt for the keys to happiness, he came across new research from the growing areas of positive psychology and neuroscience which showed that we have had this backwards all along:
In fact, happiness leads to success.
Happiness and optimism actually fuel performance and achievement, and a more positive brain is more motivated, more resilient, more creative and more productive.
So where do you begin if you want to feel happier? Well a great place to start is to understand our capacity for change. Many of think we are just born a certain way:
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”
“I’m just not a very positive person”
“I’m good at certain things but not others, it’s the way I am”
But in fact, new research into ‘neuroplasticity’ shows that our brains can adapt and grow throughout our lives. We aren’t stuck with a certain skill set and personality that we thought we were born with. We can in fact continually learn new skills through practice.
So it’s perfectly possible to learn to be happier!
I’ll be sharing some of my favourite happiness tips over the next few posts, which you can apply in your daily life, and I’d love to hear how you get on! Feel free to hit reply and let me know, or leave a comment on my Facebook page.
So here’s to all of us turning that happiness equation on its head, and seeing how more happiness = more success!