The New Formula for Success

As a leader responsible for an organization’s success, one thing that is always in the back of your mind is how to improve performance at work – your own performance and your employees’ performance.

The answer lies in psychology, specifically positive psychology, and one of the best people to learn about improving performance at work is Shawn Achor, author of the international bestseller, The Happiness Advantage, and a leading expert on the connection between happiness and success.

During his TEDx Talk in 2011 (which is very funny and worth watching), he said that if you change the lens, you change the reality.  What he means by that is if you change the way you look at the world, you can shape your success, because 90% of our happiness level is predicted by how we look at the world.

Achor says that right now, the accepted formula for happiness and success is backwards. We think that if we work harder, we will be more successful, and if we are more successful, we will be happier.  But this is wrong for 2 reasons:

  1. Every time we achieve success, we change the goal posts for success.
  2. By constantly changing what we consider successful, we will never reach happiness.

We need to completely change what we consider success, and the first step is understand that 75% of our success relies on our:

  1. Optimism levels
  2. Social support
  3. Ability to see stress as a challenge rather than a threat

In my next post, I will share Achor’s formula for changing our happiness levels. Till then, spend 15 minutes writing down how can you improve each of the above 3 elements.

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