Be happy to be successful, says Harvard researcher

Saturday, October 25, 2014 22:54
Posted in category Success Tips

Most people believe that success leads to happiness. However, research shows that this cause and effect relationship between success and happiness is actually inverted. More than successful people being happy, the scenario is other way around: being happy increases the chances of one’s success in any sphere of life.

Shawn Achor, who wrote the hugely popular The Happiness Advantage, has carried out extensive research at Harvard on Happiness and proves with data that happy people tend to be more successful. Time.com recently carried an interview with Shawn Achor, where he explains his mantras for happiness and success. Excerpts from the interview and the key points the author mentions, are given here.

1) Success Brings Happiness? No. Happiness Brings Success.
If we can get somebody to raise their levels of optimism or deepen their social connection or raise happiness, turns out every single business and educational outcome we know how to test for improves dramatically. You can increase your success rates for the rest of your life and your happiness levels will flatline, but if you raise your level of happiness and deepen optimism it turns out every single one of your success rates rises dramatically compared to what it would have been at negative, neutral, or stressed.

2) See Problems As Challenges, Not Threats
What positive outliers do is that when there are changes that occur in the economic landscape or the political landscape or at an educational institution, they see those changes not as threats, but as challenges.

3) Twice As Much Work Means You Need Friends Twice As Much
The people who survive stress the best are the ones who actually increase their social investments in the middle of stress, which is the opposite of what most of us do. We found that social connection is extremely important for predicting academic achievement. Work altruists were ten times more likely to be engaged than the bottom quartile of that list and the top quartile was significantly happier and 40% more likely to receive a promotion over the next 2-year period of time.

4) Send A “Thank You” Email Every Morning
The simplest thing you can do is a two-minute email praising or thanking one person that you know. We’ve done this at Facebook, at US Foods, we’ve done this at Microsoft. We had them write a two-minute email praising or thanking one person they know, and a different person each day for 21 days in a row. That’s it. What we find is this dramatically increases their social connection which is the greatest predictor of happiness we have in organizations. It also improves teamwork. We’ve measured the collective IQ of teams and the collective years of experience of teams but both of those metrics are trumped by social cohesion.

5) The 20-Second Rule
If you can make the positive habit three to 20 seconds easier to start, you’re likelihood of doing it rises dramatically.
And you can do the same thing by flipping it for negative habits. Watching too much television? Merely take out the batteries of the remote control creating a 20 second delay and it dramatically decreases the amount of television people will watch.


Courtesy: This article is based on a post on Time.com. Read the full article here.

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