Leadership and The Happiness Advantage (Part 1)

Published November 30, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Thanks for joining us! We are grateful we had the opportunity to take a little time off to experience some rest and relaxation as well as create some quality memories with dear friends and family. During the recent holiday break, we were invited to listen to a broadcast of Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership podcast hosted by Ken Coleman. The topic of the podcast was focused on how a person’s “happiness” affects their decisions and can fuel their success. They also took a deeper look as to why so many people in today’s marketplace are struggling to reach successful outcomes and face challenges creating happiness in their own lives. It was such an enjoyable and informative experience we decided to share some of their valuable insights here with our readers.

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This particular broadcast consisted of an interview with Shawn Achor, the author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, whose scientific research work led him to the significant conclusion that being happy is a choice. He then proceeded to reveal to listeners, that according to his findings, the paradigm most of us have been brought up to believe in–that we are the product of our genetic inheritance, based on what we were born with and how we were raised–is a false concept. Go ahead … allow yourself a moment for that to soak in … Now, are you ready to fry your brain cells a little more? The fact is, according to recent scientific studies, experts now conclude that happiness is not something that can be inherited; it is something that is cultivated. This was also the conclusion Achor reached after conducting 12 years of research on the topic of happiness. Achor, who had studied Christian and Buddhist ethics as a student at the Divinity School, conducted his research work at Harvard University and was focused on the significance, if any, that happiness has in fueling an individual’s success.

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After traveling the world and interviewing individuals from all walks of life, both privileged and underprivileged, Achor had a fierce determination to learn whether happiness provided people any kind of advantage in their lives. He was also interested in understanding how a person’s beliefs affected their actions and the consequences they had on their environment. In addition, he studied such components as when and what made people happy in hopes of comprehending and answering a bigger question: why, in spite of their determination to find happiness, most people fail to achieve it.

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His initial research work led him to the Ancient Greeks definition of happiness, which, he was surprised to discover, was completely different from that found in today’s modern world. Today, most individuals pursue pleasure as a means to define their happiness. The Greeks, however,  defined happiness as the joy an individual feels when they are moving towards their highest potential. In other words, rather than defining happiness as something that brings momentary pleasure, their happiness was centered on being in a joyful state of mind which, in turn, led them to achieve positive outcomes.

That’s a wrap for today. We will leave you with those initial concepts to ponder. On Wednesday, we will continue this discussion and examine more closely the differences between creating a life of pleasure as opposed to creating a life that is joyful.

Until then … we wish you joy in building your leadership skills!

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“Faith is indispensable for the perseverance required to break through the specious ‘reality’ one knows to the as-yet-unknown Reality.” ― Whitall N. Perry

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Mayr’s Author’s Page

References:

Achor, S. (2015, November 15). The happiness advantage. (E. Podcast, Interviewer)

Ramsey, D. (2015, November 15). The EntreLeadership.

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