We all want to be more successful. Everything you've read so far, however, appears to be a lot of work. Isn't there a more enjoyable, scientifically proven approach? There is, indeed.

Best-selling author Shawn Achor spent several years at Harvard University researching the topic of pleasure. He poured his findings into his book: The Happiness Advantage.

It's one of the funniest (and most popular) TED lecture you'll find on the internet.

What makes Shawn's work so exceptional? His study reveals that happiness is not necessarily a byproduct of success — success is often a byproduct of happiness.

Instead of removing the abnormal outliers from the scientific data, he vigorously investigated them, something that many academics neglect.

He was curious about what incredibly happy people do that the rest of us seem to miss.

Here's what Shawn has to say:

Rather than removing those individuals who appear to be oddballs from the data, we choose to study them. Our goal was to figure out why just a few people in a sales team have exploding sales, while the others have stagnant figures. As another example, take a school in Chicago where the majority of kids come from low socioeconomic backgrounds but where a few pupils are achieving academically at a level well above average. What we learn from these outliers isn't about how to improve the performance of those who are below average, but rather about how to improve the performance of those who are already above average.

That's what Shawn thinks, and what his study indicates. A more positive outlook will help you achieve more success.

What comes first, success or happiness?

Is it true that a person's success brings him or her happiness? Not strictly.  We all hope that success would bring us happiness. However, research has shown that this is not the case. When you do anything, you're elated for a short while... but the next big thing is always on your mind.

According to Shawn's findings, boosting success may be achieved by reversing the formula and aiming to make people happier instead of more successful.

Every single business and educational result we can test for improves considerably if we can encourage someone to enhance their optimism levels, deepen their social connection, or raise their degree of joy. For the rest of your life, your success rates can climb without affecting your happiness, but if you boost your level of happiness and deepen your optimism, every one of your success rates rises considerably compared to what it would have been at negative, neutral, or stressful levels.

It was so successful for MET Life to hire employees based on optimism that they decided to try it out themselves.

Even if they had fared poorly on the industry's "aptitude exam," they were still able to be hired. What was the end result of the experiment?

They found that the optimistic group had a 19 percent advantage over their pessimistic peers during year one and a 57 percent advantage during year two.

How is this possible? There is just a 25 percent correlation between IQ and achievement, Shawn said:

We can only anticipate around a quarter of an employee's performance at work based on their IQ and technical abilities. It's not only IQ and technical abilities that are predictive of long-term success in the workplace, but rather three other umbrella characteristics. There are three factors: optimism (the conviction that one's actions have an impact on one's life in the face of difficulties) and social connection (whether or not one has a strong network of friends).

Students who are serious about their future achievement should focus less on grades and more on their outlook.

Rolling a pair of dice was as good a predictor of future earnings for Shawn as your GPA in college.

Get more happiness and success in your life by following these simple tips:

  • The more successful you are, the happier you are. No. Happiness leads to more success.

It's possible that achieving success isn't as euphoric as most people imagine.

Focusing on one's own happiness may be a better strategy than believing that happiness will come as a byproduct of one's success.

In our own minds and lifestyles, we may have more control over our happiness than we think.

There are too many examples to deny the idea that success does not necessarily lead to happiness.

It's a common belief that to be successful, you have to work hard all the time. But what if there was another way? A more enjoyable way that still got you where you wanted to go? It is possible - and the key is having fun. Yes, you read that right! Fun is one of the most important things for success, both in your personal and professional life.

So how do you go about incorporating more fun into your routine without sacrificing productivity? Here are some steps to being more successful while still having fun:

Set Goals: This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people don't set specific goals for themselves. Having clear goals will help you stay on track and achieve more.

Make a Plan: This is where the rubber meets the road. Once you have your goals, put together a plan of action that will help you achieve them. Be specific and realistic in your planning so you can accomplish what you set out to do.

Take Action: One of the biggest reasons people fail to get what they want is because of inaction. If you don't take steps towards your goals, there's no way you can achieve them!

Celebrate Your Successes: No matter how big or small the success, it deserves recognition when it happens. Take time to appreciate yourself for all that you have accomplished in the past.

Stay Motivated: No matter how far along you are in achieving your goals, it's easy to lose motivation and focus. Keep yourself motivated by setting new milestones for success that will keep you going!

Be Grateful: Finally, being grateful is a wonderful way to boost happiness levels and achieve more success in life. Make a habit of thanking yourself and others for all the good that comes your way.

  • Turning a Negative Situation into a Positive One

Any successful entrepreneur or positive professional will tell you that they all have a distinct mentality that allows them to approach problems differently. They perceive issues as opportunities to learn, grow, progress, or modify in a way that leaves them better off than before the situation was.

This simple way of thinking has many advantages. First, it relieves stress associated with a new situation by presenting it favorably. Second, it frames the issue. Because the mind quickly starts thinking about the repercussions and possible solutions, it is easier to break down and evaluate. Third, it promotes growth—this mindset challenges you to constantly adapt and improve. It's also self-sustaining. Every problem you perceive or solve in this manner makes future difficulties easier to handle, generating a positive cycle of reinforcement.

In your brain, there isn't a magical switch that makes you see all your problems in this way. To acquire this perspective, you must retrain your brain. It is doable, but it will take time and work to see results.

Every day, people are presented with difficulties that stand in the way of reaching their goals. From time to time these problems can feel overwhelming and discouraging. But there’s a great solution for this typical problem: adjust your perspective regarding the obstacle itself. If you see it as a challenge rather than a threat, you may turn it into something beneficial. This may seem like mere semantics but research has shown that changing your views about an issue can have tremendous effects on how well you perform at overcoming it! So next time you confront one of those seemingly insurmountable issues, remember to view it as an opportunity instead-you could be surprised by what happens! Worrying wastes mental energy and it doesn’t fix any problems either. Instead, stay in the moment since right now is all we have.

  • If you're working twice as hard, you'll need friends twice as much.

It's an old saying, but it's true: success is a lot easier when you have people to help you out.

In addition to providing us with a sense of belonging, friends may also be a source of joy and laughter, as well as a helping hand, comfort, and advice when we need it. There is no denying that their impact extends far beyond the present time. Your strong friendships have a significant impact on your life's direction.

It's critical to choose friends carefully because of the many ways they can influence your life. If you're seeking for a friend, does this person fit the bill? In the next one, five, or even ten years, how are they going to impact you and your life? Is that where you want to be, or are you looking for something else? Think about the relationships you want to establish and the future you want to build before you schedule a get-together with pals.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at the Harvard Business School, looked at how social networks can affect success in the business world. They found that people with strong social networks were more likely to be successful than those who didn't have as many connections and were more likely to live longer and healthier lives. Many studies have indicated that persons who have a strong support system of friends and family are less stressed and more physically fit.

So how can you build a stronger social network? Surround yourself with positive people. It's been said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so make sure those people are lifting you and supporting you in your goals. The best way is to get involved in activities that interest you and that bring you into contact with like-minded people. Join a club, attend networking events, or start your group with like-minded friends. You'll be successful in no time!

  • Every morning, send an email saying "thank you."

Sending thank-you emails every morning can help you be more successful throughout the day. The study found that those who send gratitude emails experience increased productivity, decreased stress levels, and improved relationships.

There has been research done on the positive effects of gratitude on our mental health, and it is clear that this has an impact on our ability to perform our jobs effectively. According to Harvard Health Studies, being appreciative has been shown to put people in a happier mentality. Most of us can attest to the fact that when we're happy, we perform better in our jobs.

You've probably heard of the Law of Attraction, which states that our actions and reactions attract the necessary forces. This can either help or hinder us. We've all had those days where nothing goes right - the alarm doesn't go off, traffic is awful, we arrive late, something goes wrong... On the other hand, we have those untouchably awesome days when everything just clicks.

The law of attraction works to our advantage when we practice gratitude. For the most part, it makes perfect logic that when we're appreciative, we're more likely to draw wonderful things to us. The happier we are, the less likely we are to become upset by minor inconveniences. We're also more relaxed and less anxious, which helps us avoid the tiny errors that build. By practicing gratitude, we can place ourselves in a better frame of mind to tackle the more difficult tasks that life throws our way.

So why not give it a try? It couldn't hurt, and it just might make a big difference in your life. Send a quick "thank you" email to someone every morning, and see what happens. You may be surprised at the positive effects it has on your day!

In summary:

Here's what we can all take away from this.

  • Success doesn't lead to happiness. Happiness leads to more success.
  • Problems should be seen as challenges rather than threats.
  • If you're working twice as hard, you'll need friends twice as much.
  • Every morning, send an email saying "thank you."

Some people may believe that becoming happier is impossible. Maybe they've had a bad case of depression.

Alternatively, they may have heard that we have a "happiness set point," and that our genetics ultimately determine how happy we can be.

By following these tips, you can start to create a life that is filled with more happiness and success. And who knows, maybe you'll even find that the two go hand in hand!

Here's what Shawn has to say:

When you look at outliers on the graph, you find people who break the tyranny of genes and environment by creating these conscious positive habits that cause them to interact with life more positively with higher levels of success, lower levels of stress, and higher levels of resilience. They do it by changing their mindset and changing their habits, and by doing so they trump their 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 have to be the case.

Send a thank-you email right now. It doesn't take long at all. Tomorrow, send another one.

That habit will make you happier, and it will help you be happier. And being happier will make you more successful and make your relationships stronger, as well.

Happiness. Success. Strong relationships. What else is important?

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