Happiness is a choice
Achor’s studies indicate that happiness is predetermined by 10 percent. What the heck does that mean? Simple: 90 percent of your happiness depends on your mind. How it processes the information it receives from the brain. That is to say, from what you think of your plans, your financial conditions, your family, and so on.
Achor came to this conclusion after investigating what the perception of happiness was outside the United States, where he initially limited his research. In the course of her studies, she found that there are men and women in conditions that we would call tragic who are even happier than wealthy and successful people.
A crucial element in determining this mood is represented by social connections. Let’s talk about the real ones, not Facebook & co that offer us a reality mediated for the use and consumption of advertising advertisers, in an attempt to continue milking us like TV did a few years ago. Social connections are relationships with our family, our friends, the people we relate to every day. Including, of course, even those that we know only on social networks. Our happiness is deeply affected by these interactions.
The impact of happiness on life and work
What produces happiness, ça va sans dir, helps to live better. Once “doped” with this substance, our body reacts positively to the messages it receives from the outside. It’s a vicious circle: the happier you are, the more the world smiles at you, making you even happier.
It sounds a lot of foolishness to me too, but even my arrogance is silent in the face of science.
If we have data, we take data, but if all we have are opinions, we take mine.Jim Barksdale
Therefore, it will be clear to you that your mood is influenced by others, even when you consider yourself so superior that you are immune to their mood swings. But if your wife or daughter is in pain, if your parents are having problems, if your friends are in trouble, don’t tell me you’re going around to celebrate!
Strange as it may seem to you, you too are endowed with this same power, that is, to influence the mood of those around you; consequently, determining their level of happiness. It is not so obvious to you because we rarely pay attention to it, but you think that you are able to transmit emotions to a yogurt and adjust accordingly.
The serene man brings serenity to himself and to others.Epicurus
If you choose to be happy, you will help others to be happy, and consequently you too … Cool, right? It’s not over here: Achor’s research has shown that being happy helps you live longer, as much as smoking kills you faster.
Are you waiting for the data right? Here they are: happy people are able to increase their productivity by almost 40 percent, increase creativity by 30 percent and triple sales.
Achor has determined these values through several studies, including one on the effect of optimism on entrepreneurs. Practically, it turned out that when guided by optimism, the entrepreneur develops an ability to see opportunities and find solutions to problems above the average of his colleagues.
How to cultivate happiness
I reveal a trick that I often used when I was training and that I sometimes repeat with the people of the teams I work with when someone has problems. I make him smile.
I mean, I ask him specifically. Then I joke about it, I start making stupid jokes insisting that if he doesn’t smile I will do inappropriate things like kicking the victim in the ass.
You know what? It works! When your partner starts smiling you have already won. He accepted your principle: if you smile, things will get better. It will happen, but at that moment it is impossible for him to really believe it, so to smile he needs a boost. And you have to give it to him. Sometimes, when things go wrong for me too, I look in the mirror and play the same game.
Okay, it’s not my trick. This is what Richard Wiseman called principle as if in his book The As If Principle, poorly translated into Italian Change life in six comfortable lessons. We are once again in the field of science. In a nutshell: if you want to be happy, start smiling. Look, I didn’t believe it either, but it works just like that. And here we relate to what Achor studied.
Your mind determines your mood to the extent that it translates the messages that come to your brain from your senses and determines how you should feel. Do you know about analgesics? It’s not that they heal you and therefore it didn’t feel bad anymore, they simply communicate to your brain that there is no more pain, so you don’t have the feeling of pain
Two small experiments you can try:
- the next time you take a shower, slowly turn the hot water knob towards the cold water, repeat that it is a pleasant sensation, and stand there watching what is happening;
- for a month, every day write an email, call or speak to someone to thank him, and notice what happens. Or, keep a gratitude journal and discover the benefits that come with it.
In both cases, you will discover how your artificially generating happiness through the close use and consumption of your ego has a favorable effect on the outside world as well as on the way you perceive things.
A further tip. Stop watching the early morning news, or read the news otherwise. At least, try to avoid the negative ones. In fact, the things you do in the early morning have a profound impact on the following hours. Not surprisingly, when something wrong happens when you wake up, we say it ruined the day. This is why I defined morning rituals and started getting up at dawn to follow them. You know what? It really works!
Try it for a month to replace the use of the news with something positive.
Achor’s most important message is that happiness can be cultivated. To transform a child’s brain from a pessimist into an optimist, 21 days can be enough, the scholar discovered, although it is good to remember that it can take up to two months to create a habit.
Now, with the head that I find myself it took almost a year, but maybe with yours you get on with much less. After all, bad that it goes, you will forget this post in a week. But if you start smiling now, capable of reminding you a little more.
There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.
Now let’s do an experiment.
- Now answer the question: “Are you happy?”
- Close your eyes, smile and take 12 deep breaths, inhale and exhale, and then answer the question “Are you a little happier?”.
It is one of the benefits of meditation that I did not want to believe and that science convinced me to deepen. And it’s a small demonstration that happiness is a choice. And you can choose it.