July 8th • 2 min read
#Career #Leadership #People power #Corporate culture

Happiness Comes Before Success

Professional success is a commonly shared goal. Most of us yearn to be great at what we do. Our culture is steeped heavily in achievement and so maximizing this success is deeply engrained. The vast majority of us enjoy setting goals and smashing them out of the park, giving us reason to celebrate. A traditional take on happiness is that it’s an end result of achieving positive outcomes. Applying this outlook to our professional lives, this means that work success precedes happiness.
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Assuming this theory is accurate, we should be able to find happiness right after achievement. And even more so after mastery. However achieving mastery in our chosen field is not an easy objective. According to leading experts, it requires a minimum of 10,000 hours of practice. Now since there’s no way to shortcut time and experience, we might find ourselves wondering what we can do in the meantime to accelerate our individual performance.


Flip It in Reverse

Taking a step back, what if happiness is actually the key to unlocking more success? Emerging science on the psychology of happiness supports this model. Working happier comes with a multitude of benefits that are hard to ignore. It’s the key to producing more engaged, creative, loyal, resilient, cooperative and productive employees. Just in case that’s not enough, happier employees tend to be healthier too. Reversing this theory leads us to ponder how we can improve our happiness quotient at work, but before we look at how let’s understand it further.


Happiness is a collection of great experiences that lead to an overall good feeling. It’s more than just a fleeting mood, but an indicator of a deeper sense of meaning and satisfaction. There are many factors that contribute to or detract from happiness levels at work. Happiness is a big job, but with so many rewards for both employees and employers, can we really consider happiness as an abstract luxury or is it actually becoming more of a necessity? The research is clear. Our individual performance would benefit significantly by maximizing our happiness.


The Power Hack You Need

Humans are emotional by nature and sometimes we don’t feel our happiest. It happens to everyone. And while it can be tough to reset your attitude when you’re in a funk, there’s one power move that will always give you an instant boost. Try some smile therapy. Put on a smile before you speak. Even when you’re on the phone and no one can see you. They will be able to hear it in your voice. Plus as a bonus, smiling is contagious and friendly people are better at collaborating with each other to achieve positive outcomes. Sounds like a win-win.  


Some days it can feel harder to crack a smile than others. That’s ok too. We’ve got a scientific tip guaranteed to deliver an instant boost. Hold a pencil in your teeth for 30 seconds. This simple technique forces your face to imitate a genuine smile and tricks your brain into shifting your mindset. Studies show this easy move is linked to lowering stress levels and decreasing feelings of pain.* Even if it doesn’t boost your mood instantly, it can certainly help you handle the daily grind with more finesse.


Happiness Comes Before Success

The bottom line is that working happier matters. Happiness is a shared responsibility between companies and individuals. Some organizations are taking this philosophy so seriously they’ve created a new executive role to promote working happier with a Chief Happiness Officer (CHO). If you’re not working next to a CHO today, you still have a tremendous amount of influence over your own personal happiness. And since happier employees are 12% more productive, boosting your own happiness is key to accelerating your career.





*Kraft T & Pressman S (2012 in press). Grin and bear it: The influence of manipulated positive facial expression on the stress response. Psychological Science.

Samantha Shah

Chief Marketing Officer

Our chief value creator with a knack for finding meaning everywhere. She bends words to create clarity while making a lasting impression. She can also make you laugh. An exiled Canadian now living in Australia, she enjoys the heat but misses snowboarding and the apres ski.

Growth starts with individuals. Unlock the power in your people first.
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