New Harvard Research Explains the Truest Way to Be More Successful

For the past year, Shawn Achor, Best-selling author of The Happiness Advantage, has studied the most complex yet most important aspect of our lives: happiness. He even gave a very eye-opening and humoristic Ted Talk. His research on Happiness and Success is the most eye-opening and straightforward yet.

Success doesn’t bring happiness – happiness brings success

Guess what: being happier will make you more successful – not the other way around! You know how we all chase success hoping we will become happier…
Well, it’s not the right way – as you’re constantly looking for something bigger and better.

It’s important to shed light on Shawn’s words here:

“If we can get somebody to raise their levels of optimism or deepen their social connection or raise happiness, turns out every single business and the educational outcome we know how to test for improves dramatically.”

Think about the glass half empty or half full – it’s pretty much the same reasoning.
There are so many benefits to being optimistic. This includes:

1. Optimism leads to better health and a longer life.
It has always been known that positive attracts positive.

2. Optimism makes you tougher.
When you don’t let things attain you, you evidently become tougher. As you become tougher, you become happier.

3. Social optimism makes people like you more.
If you express optimism, you will start expecting people to like you – which will actually make them like you more!

4. Optimism makes you luckier. Research proves it.
Richard Wiseman has a “science” behind what lucky people have in common. One of their common traits is optimism. Have a look at his book, the Luck Factor.

5. Optimism makes you more successful.
Salespeople hired based on optimism alone outsold their more pessimistic counterparts by 57%.

Intelligence and technical skills only predict 25% of success!

 The other 75% of long-term job success is, according to Shawn, “predicted by three other umbrella categories. It’s optimism (which is the belief that your behaviour matters in the midst of challenge), your social connection (whether or not you have depth and breadth in your social relationships), and the way that you perceive stress.”

So, you know what to worry more about. Being OPTIMISTIC! Your attitude has a huge effect on how successful you are.

See problems as challenges – not threats

Shawn declares:

“What these positive outliers do is that when there are changes that occur in the economic landscape or the political landscape or at an education institution, they see those changes not as threats, but as challenges.”

Interestingly, if you work twice as much – you also need friends twice as much 

Remember when you were desperately writing your dissertation at university?
Would you drown in your workload? Remember when some students even burned out…

Whatever given example, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy work/life balance. In fact, the more you work – the more friends you need. It goes hand in hand.

“The people who survive stress the best are the ones who actually increase their social investments in the middle of stress, which is the opposite of what most of us do.”

Little things are just as important

There are baby steps you can take on a day-to-day basis. The importance is to be consistent.

Shawn believes that this can be done simply by sending an email thanking one person. Or, by starting daily habits such as meditation or simply listing 3 things you’re grateful for… every day.

Your good habits will trump your genes!

It is usually believed that our genetics determine how happy we can be.
Well, Shawn shows that good habits can trump genes.

Most people accept that they’re just born some way and that’s how they’re going to be the rest of their life, and whatever they were last year is what they’re going to be this year. I think positive psychology shows us that that doesn’t actually have to be the case.

To wrap it up, the real secret to success is happiness. Whatever you believe, it is not the opposite. Start shifting your perspective and you will start seeing a drastic change.


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