The Power of Happiness For Business Success

Fortunately, humans love happiness. Who doesn’t want to be happy? Unfortunately, it turns out that plenty of us don’t seem to, based on the way we stick our noses to the grindstone and assume that if we work harder we’ll achieve success and happiness. Fortunately, the relatively new science of positive psychology is finding ways to help us achieve business success. Unfortunately, many of us are currently doing it backwards, and hobbling our professional capability in the process. Fortunately, all we have to do is be happy and grateful in the present moment, and we become more effective at what we do and more likely to achieve success.

Here is an entertaining and mind-blowing TEDx video by Shawn Achor that synopsizes this research.

What I love about this new approach to thinking about success is that it recognizes that fact that we create our own reality and places the responsibility for creating a reality we want squarely on us. This is the foundation of InPowerment. Choice is power. Any time you’re feeling powerless, just make some choices – about almost anything – and watch your internal power meter go up. In essence when you’re making a choice, you’re training your brain to remember that you have control over your reality. We’re adjusting our “lens” on reality, which this new psychology shows is our key to high-performance, success and happiness.

A New Lens on Success

Most of us believe that our external circumstances – what we’ve achieved or not, what we have or not – predicts our happiness. We also believe that happiness has little to do with whether or not we achieve success (some of us even believe that happiness and success cannot coexist!) Turns out the reverse is true on both counts. Our external situation only predicts about 10% of our positivity, and happiness is one of the greatest predictors of success. Intelligence is only 25% predictive of job success while optimism is a 75% predictor. In particular, Shawn notes in the video above, the more we can see stress as a challenge instead of a threat, the more likely we are to be successful on the job.

You also perform better if your brain has the “happiness advantage” — which increases your intelligence, energy, productivity and resiliency — you’ll be less prone to burnout and stress problems. Positive brain functions are corollary to 31% higher performance and 37% better sales. Doctors are even 19% more accurate at diagnosis when positive. (I just switched to a happier doctor, by the way.)

Positivity releases dopamine in your brain, which not only makes you happy, but it turns on the learning centers in your brain. You get better faster when you’re happy.

Retrain Your Brain – In 21 Days

Here’s why the popular belief that hard work equals success equals happiness is not only bad for your career, but setting yourself up for a less-than-happy life. Your brain is Lucy with the football. Remember how Lucy used to pull the football away from Charlie Brown every time he tried to kick it? That’s what your brain does to you when you succeed under the work-harder brain pattern. You think when you become a manager, you’ll be happy but then you make it and want to be a director, then a VP, then a CXO then a CEO, then what? “When you put happiness on the opposite side of success your brain never gets there,” says Achor.

How to get your brain to shift into positivity when the world isn’t always sunshine and bliss? The simple explanation is to train your brain to notice the good stuff and look for patterns of positivity. Here are some suggestions, a mix of Achor and me. Do these for 21 days and see how your perspective begins to shift. Even if you’re already a positive person, these little tricks can bring more happiness into your life.

  • Every day write down 3 things you’re genuinely grateful for.
  • Every day send at least one email to someone who’s helped you, say thank you and really mean it. (This is a great way to practice InPowerment Principle #4 too!)
  • Every time you have a choice, choose the thing that makes you happier. (A key to InPowerment Principle #5!)
  • Play the Fortunately/Unfortunately game with yourself to tell the story of your day and always start and end on a “Fortunately” (see first paragraph above.)

What else can you come up with? Do you have trouble letting go of the unhappy, negative way to view the world? What would you have to let go of to accept more happiness?

This post originally appeared on InPower Women.


  1. 517211 895172Wonderful paintings! This is the kind of info that ought to be shared around the internet. Disgrace on Google for now not positioning this publish upper! Come on more than and speak over with my site . Thanks =) 937582

  2. 404733 367580Right after study several of the blog articles for your internet web site now, and i also genuinely such as your strategy for blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark internet web site list and are checking back soon. Pls take a appear at my web page in addition and tell me what you believe. 179874

  3. 398912 459303Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but soon after I clicked submit my comment didnt appear. Grrrr nicely Im not writing all that over once more. Regardless, just wanted to say fantastic weblog! 940426

  4. Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with SEO? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains. If you know of any please share. Many thanks!

  5. From my examination, shopping for electronic devices online can for sure be expensive, nevertheless there are some tips that you can use to help you get the best products. There are usually ways to come across discount bargains that could make one to have the best technology products at the cheapest prices. Great blog post.

  6. I absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to be exactly I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content for yourself? I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on a number of the subjects you write concerning here. Again, awesome website!

  7. Thanks for your valuable post. Through the years, I have come to be able to understand that the particular symptoms of mesothelioma cancer are caused by the actual build up connected fluid between your lining of your lung and the chest cavity. The condition may start inside chest location and pass on to other parts of the body. Other symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include weight-loss, severe inhaling and exhaling trouble, a fever, difficulty eating, and inflammation of the neck and face areas. It must be noted that some people living with the disease never experience virtually any serious signs or symptoms at all.

  8. 834917 578703Hello. I wanted to ask 1 thingis this a wordpress internet web site as we are preparing to be shifting more than to WP. Furthermore did you make this template yourself? Thanks. 924735

  9. 286798 891346Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn anything like this before. So nice to find any person with some authentic thoughts on this topic. realy thank you for starting this up. this site is something that is wanted on the internet, someone with just a little bit originality. helpful job for bringing something new towards the web! 998688

  10. 532510 842392Its a shame you dont have a donate button! Id without a doubt donate to this brilliant blog! I suppose for now ill settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I appear forward to fresh updates and will share this blog with my Facebook group. Chat soon! 92280


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here