The Happy Secret to a Better Work Life
If you’re like most people, you think that happiness comes from success. The more successful you are at work, the happier you are. But what if it’s the opposite? What if success comes from being happy?
That’s the idea of “positive psychology” that psychologist Shawn Achor discussed during his TEDTalk presentation. During his presentation, Shawn succinctly and with copious amounts of humor argues that happiness actually inspires productivity (not the other way around). That’s a fascinating, and uplifting, concept to me, not only as an individual and HR expert, but as an employer.
Some encouraging statistics: when your brain is more positive (as opposed to negative, neutral, or stressed), you are 31% more productive, 37% better at sales, and (for the doctors out there) 19% faster and more accurate at correctly diagnosing a problem.
Can you imagine yourself, or your staff, being 31% more productive? Or hiring the right people for your medical practice who are 37% better at getting patients to accept and pay for treatment plans? The potential is mind-blowing. And all of this is because you’re happier. Wow.
Yet, how can you get to this place of positivity and stay there? If you’re like me, you find yourself lying on the couch with a massive cold and get inspired to change after seeing or hearing some guru (Oprah anyone?) make some profound point about taking the time to live in the present. But then Monday comes back ‘round, life happens, and your grand plan to change goes out the window. Your plan to meditate gets moved to the “oh well” list. Your plan to exercise? You wave it off, saying: “I’m too tired, maybe tomorrow.” (For me, the paradox of “rewarding” myself by not exercising, rather than gaining the benefit of exercise, is not lost on me…)
But in his presentation, Shawn provides a list of 5 awesome (and easy) principles which, when embraced, can’t help but lead you back onto the natural path of positivity. Personally, I took the list, saved it on my iPad as a screen saver, and asked my wife to help me determine which of the list I still had to accomplish. She’s been a little too good at “helping me.”
By following Shawn’s list for 21 days, he says you can change a bad habit or to adopt a better one. Why not make that list a positive habit and spread this message into your team?
Here is a link to Shawn Achor’s TEDTalk. Enjoy!