Do you have 12 minutes? No, scratch that. MAKE 12 minutes this week to watch my favorite TED Talk, The Happy Secret To Better Work. It’s not just my favorite, it’s one of the 20 most popular TED Talks, in fact. Shawn Achor, a Waco, Texas native, Harvard graduate, and happiness fanatic, will entertain you and educate you on why happiness is the key to your success. I’ve watched the Talk about 37 times this past year, and it made me hungry to know more!
I picked up a copy of Achor’s The Happiness Advantage; in it he explains the fallacy of the age old idea that if we are more successful, if we accomplish that goal, if we get the new job, THEN we’ll be happy. In the relatively new field of positive psychology, research shows that this is backward. You don’t become more happy once you achieve your goals, as you may have believed you would be. Happiness fuels success.
It’s really not backward when you think about it. Choosing a positive attitude allows you to see things in a better light, and it opens your mind to greater opportunities. It also makes you more attractive – now just go with me on this. If you are negative, pessimistic, grumpy even, do people want to be around you? If you are cheerful, you smile, and you say kind things, you’re someone I’d want to be around. Now, I prefer authenticity, which means it’s not all hearts and rainbows all the time! But largely, being positive draws people and opportunities to you. Hiring managers, think about it this way: Would you hire someone who frowned or was stoic during most of the interview or complained about his or her past workplace? Or would you give preference to the candidate who comfortably smiled and spoke of the hope for future employment with you, while answering your tough interview questions? Supervisors, do you find yourself spending more time speaking to those who drag you down with their lamentations? And who do you prefer to delegate those important projects to? The grumbling negative Nelly? Or the Susie Q who says, “Thank you for the opportunity to grow!” Logic follows that having a happy disposition gets you hired and accelerates growth and development opportunities, which can result in promotions and higher salaries. And there’s science to back that up.
Next time, we’ll delve more into Shawn Achor’s research on how happiness can bring you success. #choosehappiness