Monday Motivation: The Happiness Equation


Good Morning! It is Monday. You woke up; you opened your eyes. Be grateful. “It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth; and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, that we begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.” (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross). Be mindful of this quote this week. Look at it each morning. See if it changes the way you approach your day. Small changes each day can have a powerful impact.

DO MORE. BE MORE. ACCUMULATE MORE that is the mistaken path we often try to take toward happiness. The happiness model you were taught from a young age is backward. We seem to think that we must work hard to achieve big success and only then will we be happy. According to Neil Pasricha, The Happiness Equation, that formula can look and sound like this:

  • Do Great Work – Have Big Success – Be Happy

  • Study Hard – Get Straight A’s – Be Happy

  • Work Overtime – Get Promoted – Be Happy, etc. etc.

Reflect on the statements above; or create your own. How many of you do these things and never reach “being happy”? Instead, once you achieve your goals, you just create another goal to achieve; thus, never reaching “being happy”. Happiness seems to get more elusive.

In his book, The Happiness Equation, Neil Pasricha suggests changing the statement and placing “Be Happy” first. This equation can sound like this:

  • Be Happy – Do Great Work – Have Big Success

  • Be Happy – Study Hard – Get Straight A’s

  • Be Happy – Work Overtime – Get Promoted

When you work on happiness first, everything changes. You feel great; your mindset shifts; your reactions change to the stimuli you experience. The Harvard Business Review states that happy people are 31% more productive, 3 times more creative, and have 37% more sales. So, what is the first thing you must do before you are happy? Focus on being happy first! Why? Your brain’s learning centers light up when you are happy.

Following are a few quotes that share how important your attitude and the lens through which you view your world is on the experiences you have in your life:

  • American philosopher, William James, “The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.”

  • Author of The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor, “It is not necessarily reality that shapes us, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality.”

  • William Shakespeare says, “For there is nothing either good or bad, but your thinking makes it so.”

Research published by University of California professor, Sonja Lyubomirsky, tells us that only 10% of your happiness is based upon your external circumstances and 90% is everything else (your genetic disposition (40%) and intentional activities (40%). This is HUGE! You can impact your happiness significantly through “intentional” activities, meaning “specific things you can do to improve your happiness”. These activities alone have four times the effect on your happiness than any other thing happening in your life!

Start Now! Train your brain to be happy!! Studies have shown that there are simple things you can do to increase your feelings of well-being and happiness. Below are five suggestions from these studies. You do not have to do all of them; just pick one and do it for two straight weeks and your happiness and feelings of well-being will increase. Here they are:

  • Three Walks – Studies show that people who are more physically active have more pleasant-activated feelings. It does not take much; just 30 minutes of brisk walking three times a week, and you will improve your happiness.

  • The 20 Minute Replay – Writing for 20 minutes each day about a positive experience will dramatically improve your happiness. Why? Because you relive the experience as you are writing it and then you relive it each time you read it.

  • Random Acts of Kindness – Carrying out 5 random acts of kindness each week will significantly improve your happiness. Why? Because you will feel better about yourself and feel that you are appreciated. It can be simple things. Paying for someone’s coffee. Writing a thank you note to someone. Running an errand for someone, etc. You get the point 😊!

  • 2 Minute Meditations – Studies show that meditation can rewire the brain and raise your levels of happiness. It does not take much. Just spend two minutes each day focusing on being present; sit in silence; focus on your breath. Breathe in; breathe out. Be aware of your breath.

  • Three to Five Gratitude’s – Each day write down three to five things for which you are grateful. Choose different things each day. You will raise your levels of happiness and improve your health 😊!

You CAN learn to be happier. Choose one of these five suggestions and do it for two weeks straight. You will be amazed by the impact it will have in your life. Be Happy. The rest will follow!

Have a GREAT day; have a GREAT week!

#mondaymotivation #happyatwork #happiness #joy #grateful #success #activity #mindset #kindness #meditation

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