How many times have you said, “I can’t wait until…” or “I’ll be happy when I …?”
Something has zapped the happiness of our workforce. According to the 2011 version of The Conference Board Job Satisfaction Survey only 47.2 percent of the respondents reported “satisfaction.” The first year for the survey (1987) a 61.1 percent satisfaction rate was recorded … yes, 61 percent!
The chicken or the egg?
So, which comes first happiness or success? Is it that …
- People who work hard will be successful and successful people are happy people? Or,
- People who are happy become more successful?
What do you think?
The advantage of happiness
Shawn Achor, in The Happiness Advantage, reveals the following:
Optimistic salespeople outsell their pessimistic counterparts by 56 percent. Students primed to feel happy before taking math achievement tests far outperform their neutral peers.
It turns out that our brains are literally hardwired to perform at the best not when they are negative or even neutral, but when they are positive. (p. 15)
Fifty-six percent? Sounds good to me. So what makes the difference?
The curiosity of youth
Optimistic people experience life as an adventure. They face the day with joy, gratitude, appreciation, and … curiosity.
Curiosity is inquisitive thinking. What if…? How could we make it better? What could we do differently? Notice the thinking encouraged by these open-ended questions. They brim with untapped possibilities and potential. Life is to be explored.
After reading, “What if “they” fire the unhappy people?” Jeffrey commented from his Story:
I was blessed to spend a week at camp with 7-9 year old boys and just returned late last night. I saw wonder and curiosity in most boys and I saw unfathomable happiness in these boys. I also saw a dark cloud around some boys who rejected new adventures and were in the rut of being “fed” their entertainment at home.
What characterizes your life?
Are you feeding yourself “wonder and curiosity” or “easy entertainment?” The unhappy campers were in their comfort zone.
Which path are you taking?
What could happen in your Story if you are more optimistic … more curious?
Here’s to your Next Level,
PS: Enjoy this brief video (2:09) featuring Shan Achor answering the question: “What is the Happiness Advantage?” If you prefer more content (12:29), here is Shawn Achor’s at TEDxBloomington.