If you want to be happy, be.

Leo Tolstoy


So many of us are driven by what our forefathers told us is our birthright – namely, the pursuit of happiness.  Americans have as a result become happiness-obsessed.   Doubt this?  You can easily validate this by looking at the fact that there were 258 new books released on Amazon in a one month period focused on happiness.

This pursuit of happiness eagerly shows up in our career lives.  I’ve had many encounters with the:

  • I’ll be happy when I get this new job.
  • I’ll be happier in my job if I get this promotion.
  • Once I get the pay raise, my job happiness will increase.
  • Bringing this new client on board will totally make me happy.
  • Hitting my revenue target, will bring me happiness.

The happiness moments were short-lived.  I went back to looking for another happiness target.  It was as if I was wishing my life away with being on the hamster wheel of pursuing happiness.  Can you relate to this?  A few life situations came along to help me realize that the hamster wheel method wasn’t the way to hit my happiness target.  For me, combining purpose and meaning with the commitment to acts of joy were key.  I recently came across a TedX talk by psychologist Shawn Achor during which he focuses on “The Happy Secret to Better Work”.  A quick summary is that Shawn Achor asserts that we believe that we should work to be happy – but could that be backwards?  In his fast-moving and entertaining talk, he argues that actually happiness inspires productivity.

This TedX talk is most definitely one of the best (and funniest) I’ve seen.  Set aside the 16 minutes to listen in on his theory and find yourself questioning your happiness norms.

A key takeaway from his talk is how to create lasting positive change.  He indicates that by integrating the below practices daily into your life for 21 days, you’ll form new habits that truly increase your happiness quotient:

  1. List 3 daily gratitudes.
  2. Journal.
  3. Exercise.
  4. Meditate.
  5. Commit to random acts of kindness.

I would love to hear what comes to your mind watching the talk.  What is your main takeaway?   Also, I’d be grateful for you sharing if you like what you read.

Are you feeling called to shift into a greater leadership role in your life, community or business?  Then my Impactful Leader: The Top 10 Skills That Set You Apart book is a must-read!  Plus, with your purchase, you help me give back to my favorite charity!  50% of sales goes to The Animal Welfare Association of NJ.  You can easily purchase the book here:  http://marionchamberlain.net/the-impactful-leader-the-top-10-skills-to-set-you-apart/.  Thanks in advance for helping me make give back.

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