I recently stumbled upon a TED talk that really got me thinking about the relationship between success and happiness. Some perceive the two to be mutually exclusive, and some believe one cannot exist without the other. The truth is, they are neither.

The video I watched was by a gentleman named Shawn Anchor entitled “The happy secret to better work”. In it, Mr. Anchor explains how we believe that in order to be happy, we must work hard. The truth is, he explains, that we may actually have these backwards. The psychologist goes on to argue that happiness actually inspires us to be MORE productive, thereby allowing us to work harder. This ability to work harder leads us closer to success!

The quick and often times humorous video is here.

He discusses the idea of positive psychology and escaping the cult of the average. He says “It’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us but the lense through with your brain views the world that shapes your reality. And if we can change the lense not only can we change your happiness, we can change every single educational and business outcome at the same time.”

This is a powerful idea. That our perception of the world around us can not only be altered, but that change can have a profound impact on our happiness and eventually our outcomes.

His perspective doesn’t necessarily mean that in order to be successful we must be happy. There are plenty of successful folks who simply cannot find happiness, and happy people who aren’t necessarily considered successful. He touches on these outliers in his speech.

What is true however is that happiness creates significant advantages from better secure jobs, great productivity, less burnout, et al.

Mr. Anchor offers some great ways that have been proven to help rewire our minds to focus on the good, helping us towards greater success.

Here are the small changes that create lasting positive change:

• 3 Gratitudes – Write down three new things you’re grateful for each day.
• Journaling –Writing down one positive experience we had in the last 24 hours.
• Exercise –Teaches your brain that your behavior matters.
• Meditation –Allows your brain to get over the cultural ADHD we’ve created by multi-tasking.
• Acts of Kindness–Writing one positive email thanking or praising one person in their support network.

He says that by doing these activities an training our brain, you can reverse the formula for happiness and success and in doing so not only create ripples of positivity but create a “real revolution”.

Happiness and Success can indeed be obtained together and in most cases, our happiness helps lead us to success. This information is powerful. Now that you know, how will you change your perception of the world? If you’re looking for success, that may be the best place to start!

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