Today we conclude our discussion on how the happiness component can affect our decisions as leaders. During the Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership podcast, hosted by Ken Coleman, Shawn Achor, the author of The Happiness Advantage (2010) also revealed that another significant component which contributes to a person’s state of happiness, is their level of social connection. For instance, as the recent terrorist attacks in Paris unfolded, it was clear that what held them together was their strong sense of community. In fact, Achor’s research work revealed that during catastrophic events like that which occurred in Paris, a level of depth and meaning in their country’s social relationship is so strong, that as the rest of the world witnessed, even in the midst of chaos and the threat of death, the citizens of Paris showed they were still able to find significance and joy in their lives. In fact, scientists now acknowledge that the social connection factor is not only one of the greatest predictors of long-term happiness, but like obesity, high blood pressure, or smoking, it is also a predictor of the length of an individual’s life.
Additionally, Achor’s research revealed that people who implement positive habits in their lives were also more prone to building social connections; and people who are more socially connected with others, are in a better position to decrease negative patterns in their lives. This is why the most successful leaders will surround themselves with positive people. This is a proven strategy that once implemented, can help transmute pessimistic employees with negative attitudes into a team of optimistic staff members with positive attitudes that are motivated to work forming a cohesive unit to achieve productive outcomes. In short, leaders that choose happiness as a strategy are more likely to inspire others, including colleagues, potential clients, family members, and friends, to become more positive with a joyful willingness to engage in the world around them.
What is so promising about this research work is that it means that anyone placed in a position of leadership, has the potential to achieve more successful outcomes simply by implementing positive psychology strategies which include happiness and joy as the driving forces. In fact, based on this research, even companies like Google are now focused on training staff members to understand that better sales does not lead to happiness, but instead, joy and happiness are the keys that can lead to better sales.
So, if you find yourself struggling in a world of gloom and doom, where negative attitudes prevail, the good news is you have within you the power to rewire your brain beginning with a quick two minute positive input intervention! That’s right! Experts in the field of positive psychology have developed and recommend the following exercise to help rewire a pessimistic brain to develop more optimism with positive habits. Beware however! It does require a bit of discipline and a commitment from the individual to invest at least two minutes of their time, first thing in the morning on a daily basis.
Two Minute Positive Input Intervention
The practice begins by asking the individual to focus on three positive things they are thankful for. Next, the individual is asked to spread that positive energy to another individual by sending an email or connecting via social media like Facebook, expressing their gratitude and appreciation to someone different each day.
Experts recommend practicing this exercise daily for around 21 to 28 days until it becomes a habit. Then let the magic unfold while your network of positive people grows and you feel the joy of an empowered participant who is actively building their world from a foundation of positive habits. Remember, we can’t change what we don’t acknowledge and the science is out … positive leaders can dramatically improve a company’s bottom line. In other words, happiness does have its advantages!
“With faith you let go. You trust. Whereas with belief you cling.” ― Yann Martel
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Achor, S. (2015, November 15). The happiness advantage. (E. Podcast, Interviewer)
Ramsey, D. (2015, November 15). The EntreLeadership.