Did you know that happiness leads to success and not the other way around? That’s the main lesson from The Happiness Advantage, by bestselling author, Shawn Achor.
The book is based on positive psychology and outlines practical steps that employees and team leaders can take to improve the odds of positive outcomes.
The three main lessons from The Happiness Advantage are:
- Your success depends on a positive frame of mind and self-belief
- Practice seeing the positive in life to create a happy mind-frame
- Happiness is contagious. The positivity of one can affect an entire team
Lesson One: Your success depends on a positive frame of mind and self-belief
“Man, If I earned 10k more a year, I’d be so happy”.
“If I could get that client, I’d finally be happy”.
“I’ll be happy when I get this done”.
The thought that success leads to happiness is common. However, it is actually the opposite that’s true.
Science has shown that your positive feelings activate the parts of your brain that are responsible for learning.
These additional neural functions actually enhance your ability to create and learn. This makes you a better problem solver, along with generally being more effective in tricky situations.
So, while you think you may be happy when you’re successful, you’re actually more likely to be successful when you’re happy.
Lesson Two: Practice seeing the positive in life to create a happy mind-frame
My favorite part about looking for the positives, is the more you start to look for good things, the more you see.
The reason for this is actually science-based.
Our daily activities can trigger neural patterns in the same way that real events can.
Basically, thinking something is neurologically similar to experiencing something.
If you want to be happy and successful at work, then you need a positive outlook on your environment and circumstances.
You’ll also need a positive mental attitude towards your abilities.
So, try focusing on the positives in life, as opposed to the negatives.
Lesson Three: Happiness is contagious. The positivity of one can affect an entire team
You may not know it, but you mirror the behaviors of those around you.
In fact, we all do.
We all have these things called mirror neurons that copy other people’s feelings and sensations. It is one of the biggest drivers of connection and empathy.
So by being happy, you’ll actually make those around you happier.
You can literally start a culture of happiness by yourself. Your actions can impact the emotions of an entire group at work, leading to higher performance levels for everyone.
Happiness is infectious. Kinda like chlamydia, but wayyyy better.
The more happiness is shown by one person, the more it grows in those around them.
My personal takeaway
The message in this book is incredible.
The more you show happiness and gratitude, the more you start to notice good things happening. The more you start to notice good things happening, the happier you are. The happier you are, the easier you learn and your thought is significantly more clear.
The Happiness Advantage was a little before it’s time, as now gratitude training is everywhere. However, this book is a great intro to positive psychology.
Put it to action
Start a gratitude journal.
Every day, write down the following:
- Three things that went well for you today
- One thing you’re looking forward to tomorrow
Seriously, you’ll start to look for the positives and soon you’ll basically re-wire your brain to scan for the good things that happen.
🤙 Your Next Step… 🤙
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