What does happiness have to do with success? As it turns out, a lot – 75%, to be exact. That’s because the dopamine that floods your brain when you’re happy also turns on all the learning centers in your brain. Thus, happiness breeds success.
According to Shawn Achor, author of the international bestseller, The Happiness Advantage, and a leading expert on the connection between happiness and success, your brain is not only open to learning when you’re happy, but you actually perform better when you’re happy – your energy level, creativity, and productivity all increase.
In my last blog post, I shared Achor’s 3 criteria for success – optimism, social support, and the ability to see stress as a challenge rather than a threat. Raising your level of optimism to increase your happiness requires you to rewire your brain.
Despite what it may sound like, rewiring your brain is not hard. Simply do the following 5 things every day for 21 days:
3 gratitudes: Write down 3 new things you are grateful for each day, and you will automatically look for the positive, not the negative.
Journaling: Journal each day about 1 positive experience you had that day, and your brain will relive it, adding to your feeling of happiness.
Exercise: As you work out every day, you will teach your brain that your behavior matters.
Meditation: Meditating daily will help you overcome the ADHD society we live in, allowing you to focus on one task at a time.
Random acts of kindness: Each morning when you open your email, send a short, positive message to someone in your network.
Achor says that if you do these activities, you will work more optimistically and successfully. With scientific backing to support his ideas, it is worthwhile to start them today. Select at least one you can commit to and work towards your 75%. Good luck!