The link between success and happiness, or should that be happiness and success

For those of you that know about me. You will know that I am fascinated with the way that the brain works and how people learn and remember things.

This TED talk by Shawn Achor is short, humorous and to the point. I highly recommend taking the 12 odd minutes to watch it (it’s at the bottom :))

It talks about how we need to change the way our brain sees what happiness and success is. Essentially it is talking about how happiness does not come from success but success comes when you are happy.  I myself can vouch for this formula.

Shawn gives the formula for creating lasting positive change, is very simple and something that all of us can implement immediately.

  • Three gratitude’s – every day for 21 days
  • Journalling
  • Exercise
  • Meditation – focus
  • Random acts of kindness

Many of those are things we have heard about before. Gratitude journals and keeping a journal in general are not new. Oprah Winfrey made the gratitude journal mainstream.

Meditation has been around for centuries and everyone knows that exercise is good for us and creates endorphins which make us happy.

But the one that is a little bit less mainstream but is gaining popularity, is random acts of kindness. This one alone is so powerful.

I challenge you this week to just open up your mind and your eyes to everything going on around you. And be ready to be part of a random act of kindness.

It does not have to be something enormous, it does not have to be financial, it does not have to take enormous amounts of time and effort.

I was once set on a mission, for three hours to go out in Brisbane, Australia and just undertake as many random acts of kindness as I wanted to.  I had no money, or car, or phone, nothing.

So one of the things I did was spend half an hour, in a location where lots of photos get taken by tourists. They might have been families, couples or even just someone on their own and I offered to take the photo so they could be in the photo also.

In that time there was opportunity to take at least 10 photos. Some of them were so excited and happy that they were able to capture that memory in a photo with all of them in it. And you know what? In return I got great pleasure from being able to help them out. That’s all it takes.

A mentor of mine Andrew Grant taught me that you cannot take without giving, and you cannot give without taking. And all you might get out of it is a little spring in your step from feeling great about being able to help someone.  Who doesn’t want to feel great???

Whether you are in project management, change management or you are a stakeholder or sponsor, what can you take from this that will increase the positivity in your project environment?

The Happy Secret to Better Work


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