Thursday, August 02, 2012

Here's How to be Happy

We've always been taught that success can bring happiness and that in order for one to be successful one must work hard and put in a lot of sacrifices. 

The mere thought brings back memories of how my parents urge me on to study hard and achieve in school.  It also reminds me of a friend who had a similar experience.  For my friend though, it was his aunt who encouraged him to concentrate on his studies first and to not have a love life while studying.  According to his aunt, if you get good grades you'll eventually land a good job and the girls will just come rushing in.  In short, good grades = great job = success = girls.  At that time when he told me the story, we were colleagues working for a multinational company and we were already earning a considerable amount each month.  He ended his tale with an emphatic expression asking "where are the girls?"

Having a girlfriend or a partner in life may not what you would equate as happiness but for my friend, at that time of his life, it was.  We have always been taught in life that success brings happiness.  And yet, it doesn't always follows.  

Here comes Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, with a new paradigm.  In his study, he found out that it's actually the other way around.  HAPPINESS brings about SUCCESS.  When you're happy, you become more effective and more productive.  
No wonder people who do what they are passionate about tend to become successful at what they do. 


In his book, he enumerated 7 principles of Positive Psychology that can contribute to your happiness.  Positivity is actually being happy.  When you have a positive outlook in life, you are exuding happiness as well.

  1. Meditate.  Do this at least 5 minutes everyday.  Practices your brain to focus on one activity instead of always multitasking.  Be patient while doing it.  Listen to your breath.  Meditation also lowers stress and increases your immune system.  
  2. Find Something to Look Forward to.  Anticipation can be enjoyable - it can be more enjoyable than the actual event itself.  Plan things in your calendar so you have things to look forward to.  (Anticipating future rewards)
  3. Commit Conscious Acts of Kindness.  A few days a week plan to do something kind.  It must be  conscious and deliberate.  It doesn't have to be grand, simple acts of kindness will do.   
  4. Infuse Positivity into your Surroundings.  Keep negative emotions at bay.  Display pictures of your love ones in the office.  Go to the park and breathe fresh air.  Try watching less TV as the news tend to sensationalize the news and highlight negativity.
  5. Exercise.  Aside from a release of Endorphins that can make you happy, exercising can also improve your motivation and mastery.  It also improves your mood.    
  6. Spend Money!  Money can buy happiness!  However, spend not on things but on experiences especially  those with other people.  Buying things for yourself will bring happiness but the effect is fleeting.  Spend on activities, spend on others (Prosocial Spending).  
  7. Exercise a Signature Strength.  We experience a burst of positivity every time we do something we're good at.  Try to exercise one signature strength everyday.  Some of these character strengths can include :GRATITUDE, HUMOR, LOVE OF LEARNING, APPRECIATION OF BEAUTY and EXCELLENCE, and FAIRNESS.  To know your top 5 signature strengths you can visit

Now that you know the secret to happiness, go out there and practice these principles.  The effect is instant. Stay happy and you'll be successful in no time.  HAPPINESS leads to SUCCESS.

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Listen to Shawn Achor talk about his study below:

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  1. Thanks for sharing this very inspiring post Steph. Happiness has really something to do with being positive. It is also a choice and a decision despite the circumstances.

    Thanks for joining this week's comment exchange thread. Please don't forget to visit other participants as well. :)

    1. ok i did na. hahaha
      nakakatamad ^^

  2. 2 ug 6 pa man ako ani steph da. and a bit of 5 diay. hehehe.

    so i am halfway there right? hehehe.

    1. you're there na! all 7 helps ^^ you don't have to do everything hehehe

  3. Very inspirational! I think happiness is a choice. If you want to be happy, you have to choose to be happy.

  4. I try my best to chose to be happy when things are not that good around me. Yes happiness is a choice no matter what life may throw our way. Thanks for sharing this! :)


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