Why Happiness Leads to Success

Does success lead to happiness? According to Shawn Achor, Harvard professor and author of  The Happiness
the answer is “not really.” I heard him speak recently and his findings indicate that only 10% of a person’s happiness can be predicted by external factors, such as success. The other 90% is based on the lens through which you view your world. If you can answer “yes” to the following three questions you are most likely a happy person:

  1. Do you believe that your behavior matters?
  2. Do you have a positive social support network?
  3. Do you view stress as a challenge?

His findings also indicate that the inverse of the opening statement is true: Happiness leads to success. Without going into the science behind his findings, the correlation between happiness (and the associated positive frame of mind) and success is found in sport, arts and business. And the mind can be retrained in a few months to be happier. He suggests five habits that can permanently alter a person’s “lens” and therefore their happiness and their success.

  1. Every day, articulate three things for which you are grateful and why. Make a different list every day. Write them down or share them with someone else.
  2. Write in a journal about your most meaningful experience of the day.
  3. Exercise for 15 minutes every day in a way that is fun and energetic.
  4. Take two minutes each day to stop “doing” and be “quiet.” Just breathe and quit thinking. Some call this meditation, but Achor’s not hung up on technique, just on pausing the hyperactive, over-stimulated mind for a moment.
  5. Practice one act of kindness each day. The gestures can be simple things like writing a thank you note, buying someone a cup of coffee or visiting a co-worker’s office to let them know how much you appreciate something they did.

Start with one habit every two weeks and then add another. This process has had more positive impacts on curing depression than medications. And it can transform an office environment in a short period of time.

So what does this have to do with being a marketing leader? If your success is dependent on other people you’ll be much better off if they are happy people. And you can help them become happier people by how you lead them.

Watch the attached video and try some new habits, then let me know what happens. I hope it makes you happy.