The Origins of Happiness?

Is there such a thing? An origin of it? Finding and understand the origin of our own happiness can improve our overall productivity dramatically and make the hardiest of work easier to bare. Positive psychology isn’t new by any means. Our opportunity to just slow down and realize where we can find it has. I’d like to take a moment to talk through what I’ve learned on how to increase happiness which has had a greater impact in my personal success. It can have the same affect on yours.

As I’ve said above, in today’s fast pitch fast forward world you need every advantage you can to win or achieve your goals. Finding happiness in any work is a huge advantage to doing just that. I can share with you that finding happiness will increase your performance.

The world we also live in is more competitive than ever. In hyper competitive and drive for results environments you often time to only see opportunity in our work. Traditional psychology as an example typically trains us to focus on what’s wrong with people or ourselves, and not what’s right.

I find I’m successful not always based on the results I am getting. My perspective can make me successful. If in losing I have learned something for next time, isn’t that a measure of some kind of success? How would the light bulb have been created with out that kind of thinking? How would anything that has been invented in the last decade have been created with out a perspective like that? Failure after failure taught me what not to do next time until I found success.

Happiness then is highly subjective. When we do find a positive mindset we are smarter for it, feel more motivated, and will enjoy that sweet taste of success once the end goal is reached. We need to expand out scope of what is possible and not let negative emotions close off our ability to truly think bigger or better. Did you know that if you go into the toughest quiz with a positive mindset you’ll actually score better on the test?

“The results of happiness research from over 200 scientific studies on nearly 275,000 people have found happiness leads to success in nearly every domain of our lives – from relationships to jobs, health and creativity.”

Our brains I shared many times over in other posts are super powerful in influencing everything from our moods to our actual physical/mental health. Fight or flight? Our very well being. Our brains perform best then when we feel positive. To have the competitive edge then, you need to have happiness as a factor in your very mindset. Nothing can interrupt that. When you let negativity creep in or allow others negativity to affect you, you are on your way to poor performance. One of the simplest ways I keep my mindset positively in shape is to find every nugget through out the day of gratitude I can.

Small fuel pellets of positivity in others or myself is fuel for the mind to keep it positive. It only takes a pause and 5 minutes to find the positive around you, think about why you appreciate it, and then use it to fuel your own performance. Another very simple way to find happiness is think about something your looking forward to. Why are you looking forward to it? Why does that simple achievement or monumental achievement make you happy if you achieved it now? Doing this very simple exercise raises your endorphin levels by as much as 27%! Great fuel!

Then there is what happens to your brain over time as you continue to expose it to positive thinking and mindset training. The more our brains are exposed to positive thinking, the more optimistic ways of dealing with our world around us we become. The more self-aware we become. The more self-aware, the more options pop up for us to choose from.

Seeking then positive experiences to be exposed to as much as possible, life or work experiences, will strengthen your skills around attaining more difficult tasks in front of you. A simple excercise to start with is a reflection on the following day on three good things that happened the day prior before you start your day. It doesn’t have to be super profound, just positive. It does require consistency everyday for you to start to feel it. Like a muscle takes time to form, we will see our quality of life begin to improve as we build muscle to see the positive more.

“Happiness is not the belief that we don’t need change; it’s the realization that we can.”

So far, we’ve talked about how the littlest changes in our perspective can accumulate over time to be a great improvement. We do have control over our future then. When we believe we have power of our outcomes, we can change them. Falling prey to negative perspectives or negativity around you will just return you back where you started. Negative feelings or results will come. How we choose to learn from them makes all the difference. Even the simple act of writing them down to reflect on them has a profound affect in learning from them for a much more positive outcome in the future. Putting your negative feelings into words actually tricks our brains into thinking we’ve moved on from them. It diminishes the power negativity actually has on us.

Taking this concept of writing out the negative emotions we’re feeling at any given moment a step further I’ll write out two columns to categorize them in. One column I will label what I can control. The second column what I cannot control. The obvious things I let go of are the ones I cannot. Focusing our energy on what we can control gives us power again of our outcomes as well as frees us up to regain perspective on the positive. The column where I can control things I start to knock out one at a time, not all at once. I might even filter again by what would have the biggest return to positivity if I knocked it out first.

One of our biggest supports we have in our lives to achieve positivity as an asset is our social circles in work/life. You need the coach or cheerleader to help you see what you may not have the bandwidth to see. The most successful people that I have met in life have a deep contact list of people they have relationships with that they can lean into when they are struggling. These very social relationships are currency in raising our happiness baseline. Harvard research has shown in conducting a survey of over 24,000 American workers that people with fewer social connections are two to three times more likely to suffer depression than those with strong social bonds.

Last habit I’ve read about that can help – share your happiness with everyone you can. You never know whose world it may brighten and it just might be the catalyst for what they need to make it to the next level. I think too, like me, when you find happiness you won’t be able to not share it with others around you. Positivity is just as catchy as a virus as negativity is. It a very simple ripple effect. The happier you are, the happier people around you will be. It is that simple. That’s why we miss out on the power our influence has on others.

Understanding sooner than later that happiness does not come from success is a great step to understanding how to find it more. Your very success in life and your success in your ambitious endeavors in work/life depends on happiness. All we have to do is find out ways to change our perspective to see it more for what it is and what it can do.

Hope you’re having a great week. Thanks for reading! I appreciate your following and checking in when you can. (See what I did there?)

✌🏻 Shawn

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