The Happiness Advantage

     I am lovingly known by Nick (my sweet husband) as "Debbie Downer".  True story.  It's really weird because I am very gullible and believe that people are telling the truth when they say things, but at the same time I am very skeptical and don't trust anyone.  I think it all comes from growing up overseas in cultures where I felt that I had to be alert and careful all of the time...so really I can just go ahead and blame my parents.  Just kidding, kinda.  But, seriously.  A person's environment makes a huge impact!!!

     Since learning that Nick thinks that I'm "Negative Nancy" (yea, thats another one of my beloved nick-names...haha "nick"-names...get it?!?!?...ok, moving on), I have worked on being more optimistic.  Nick says that he can tell a HUGE difference in my attitude over the past 10 years...Yay!!!!!!!  But, I have to say, I still have a LOT of improving to do.

     I LOVE reading, but never know what to read unless it is recommended to me by someone.  That is why I LOVE my Book Club!  I have never been in a book club before and honestly, I always thought that they were for old ladies and that it was super weird.  But, I was mistaken!!!!!!  Last month, I read the book The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor...this book totally changed my mind on the importance of positive thinking.  I had NO idea that optimism had such an effect on the rest of a persons life!!!!!!!

     Most people measure happiness by success.  "When I get finished renovating my house, I'll be happy"..."When I buy that SUV, I'll be happy"..."When I travel to that side of the world, I'll be happy"..."When I make ______ per month, I'll be happy"..."When I can afford ________, I'll be happy".  Note: these are all things that I have actually thought!!!  People believe that they must get what they want FIRST and then happiness comes as a result of that.  But, thats actually not true!  It is the OPPOSITE!!!!

     Being happy actually fuels success!!!

     Did you know that "Optimistic salespeople outsell their pessimistic counterparts by 56 percent."?!!?!?!?!?!? (page 15).  When we are happier, we do better overall!!!  And did you know that teams do better if they have an encouraging leader?!?!?!!  Did you know that just by believing that you can succeed, you actually do better??!!?!?  And did you know that just by believing that someone else will do well, it causes them to actually succeed too?!?!?!?!

     It seems like it is all mind games!!!!!!!  

     Want to see if you are a positive person?

...Imagine that you are in a bank.  There is a robbery and you were shot in the arm.  No one else was hurt.  What goes through your mind?

a.  "Thank goodness that no one else was hurt and I was ONLY shot in the arm!"
b.  "Out of all of the places and people in the world, of course I was at THIS bank and I was the ONE person who was shot."

     See how different those outlooks are for the same situation?!?!!??  One is a glass half-full and one is half-empty...which one are you!?!?!?

     So, we know that being happy is what makes someone more successful...but do you know what makes people more happy in the first place?!?!?!  RELATIONSHIPS!!!!  It isn't having a great home, perfect family, new car, high paying job and so on...it is by spending time with people who matter to you!!!

So, in my effort to be a more happy person, I have begun to:

     1.  Take time to get to know people and build relationships...think of one friend or co-worker EACH day to thank them for something or encourage them in some way.
     2.  Take time to appreciate the small things...at the end of each day, write down THREE GOOD THINGS that happened to you that day.

^^^These habits will help us be happier people and, in turn, more successful people!!!  I HIGHLY recommend this book and hope that you will read it too :)

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