“Happiness is a choice.”
Unhappy people get angry when I say “Happiness is a choice” because most of them have happily assigned their unhappiness to their circumstances, or their past, or an evil someone somewhere. It irritates them when I suggest they can simply choose to be happy.
I’m not saying it’s easy, but it can definitely be done.
Now let’s talk about you.
How often have you said, “I’ll be happy when…”
But then the desired circumstance arrives and it doesn’t bring real happiness.
Psychologist Shawn Achor says we tell ourselves,
If I work harder, I’ll be more successful. And if I’m more successful, then I’ll be happier.”
“The problem with this is that it’s scientifically broken and backwards for two reasons. First, every time your brain has a success, you change the goalpost of what success looks like.
You got good grades, now you have to get better grades.
You got into a good school, now you have to get into a better school.
You got a good job, now you have to get a better job.
You hit your sales target, we’re going to change your sales target.
If happiness is on the opposite side of success, your brain never gets there. What we’ve done is we’ve pushed happiness over the cognitive horizon as a society.”
“But the real problem is our brains work in the opposite order. If you can raise your level of positivity in the present… your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise. In fact, what we’ve found is that every single business outcome improves. Your brain at positive is 31 percent more productive than your brain at negative, neutral or stressed. You’re 37 percent better at sales. Doctors are 19 percent faster and more accurate at coming up with the correct diagnosis when positive instead of negative, neutral or stressed. If we can find a way of becoming positive in the present, then our brains work even more successfully, as we’re able to work harder, faster and more intelligently.”
I said, “Happiness is a choice,” an act of your will.
Will you let me prove that? We’ll need only a few minutes a day for 21 days.
Here’s what I need you to do:
- Write down three new things you’re grateful for each day.
Three new things a day, seven days a week.
According to Shawn Achor, as you approach the end of those 21 days your brain will start scanning the world, not for the negative, but for the positive first. Make this a habit and your happiness level will rise. Guaranteed.
- Each day, send an email to a friend describing something good that happened to you in the past 24 hours. It can be anything. Sharing it with a friend allows you to relive that moment.
You do realize that we’re re-training your brain, don’t you? All it takes is an act of your will. It will be awkward at first, but it will get easier. Stick with it.
- Send an email to someone – anyone – telling them what you like best about them, how they’ve inspired you, or taught you something valuable. Let that person know they’re important to you. Pick a different person each day.
One last thing. None of those emails can be sent to me.
Will you give it 21 days?
I’m going to go write down 3 things for which I am grateful and then I’m going to send 2 emails.
What are you going to do?
Roy H. Williams
Public Speaking 101 will make a huge difference in your presentation skills and it’s taught just once a year at Wizard Academy. This year it’s March 4-5. Even more rare is that crazy plunge into human communication theory, Portals and the 12 Languages of the Mind, the sequel to the Magical Worlds Communications Workshop. It’s happening – for real – March 19-20. Take a look at both under OnSite Classes at WizardAcademy.org
Scott Edinger’s specialty is helping business owners and executives unearth potential leaders in their midst – the kind of men and women who are crucial to long-term success, but don’t fit the conventional mold of executive-track employees. A frequent contributor to Forbes and the Harvard Business Review, this week Scott will be teaching Roving Reporter Rotbart how to go prospecting for business leadership gold. Do you want to learn how to recognize human resource treasure when you’re looking it in the face? MondayMorningRadio.com