MORE IDEAS FROM THE BOOK
If success causes happiness, then every employee who gets a promotion, every student who receives an acceptance letter, everyone who has ever accomplished a goal of any kind should be happy. But with each victory, our goalposts of success keep getting pushed further and further out.
The formula is broken because it is backward. The relationship between success and happiness works the other way around; happiness is the precursor to success. Happiness, optimism and a positive mindset makes us more motivated, efficient, resilient, creative, and productive, which drives performance upward.
The chief engine of happiness is positive emotion. The ten most common of these are: joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe and love.
Our fear of consequences is always worse than the consequences themselves.
Imagine that you walk into a bank. There are 50 other people in the bank. A robber walks in and fires his weapon once. You are shot in the arm.
Is this fortunate or unfortunate?
The situation is objectively bad. But, both counterfacts are invented by us. This shows we actually have the power in any given situation to consciously select a counterfact that makes us feel fortunate, not helpless.
On every mental map after crisis or adversity, there are three mental paths:
Study after study shows that if we are able to conceive of a failure as an opportunity for growth, we are all the more likely to experience that growth. In this way, we give ourselves the greatest power possible: the ability to move up not despite the setbacks, but because of them.
The tetris effect is named after the phenomenon experienced by tetris players who begin to see tetris-like patterns in every day life after playing for long periods of time.
With a negative tetris effect, we always spot the annoyances, stresses and hassles. With a positive tetris effect, we can condition our minds to always look for opportunities and ideas that allow our success rate to grow.
The more we can align our tasks to a personal vision, the more likely we are to view work as a calling.
Write down the tasks at work that feel devoid of meaning and ask yourself "what is the purpose of this task?" If the answer still seems unimportant, ask again, and keep going until you get a result that is meaningful to you.
Even a rote or routine task can be made meaningful if you find a good reason to be invested; you felt productive, you improved your skillset, you showed you were smart and efficient, you learnt from a mistake, you made life easier for a customer or client.
Happiness implies a positive mood in the present and a positive outlook for the future.
Based on Losada’s mathematical modeling, 2.9013 is the ratio of positive to negative interactions necessary to make a corporate team successful.
It takes three positive comments, experiences, or expressions to fend off the languishing effects of one negative.
Dip below this tipping point and performance quickly suffers. Rise above it - ideally, the research shows, to a ratio of 6 to 1 - and teams produce their very best work.
When you write down a list of “three good things” that happened that day, your brain will be forced to scan the last 24 hours for potential positives; small or large laughs, a feeling of accomplishment, a strengthened connection with family, or a glimmer of hope for the future.
In just five minutes a day, this trains the brain to become more skilled at noticing and focusing on possibilities for personal and professional growth, and seizing opportunities to act on them.
Archimedes' quote about the fulcrum and the lever inspires us to move our own fulcrum (the mindset we have) and lengthen our levers (how much possibility and power we believe we have) to lift our world and maximise our potential.
Our brains are processors with finite resources. We can spend those on looking at pain, negativity, stress and uncertainty, or to look through a lens of hope, gratitude, resilience and optimism. We can't change reality, but we can change how we perceive the world.
People with a "job" see work as a chore, and the paycheck is the reward. People with a "calling" view work as an end in itself. Their work is fulfilling, because they feel it contributes to the greater good, draws on their personal strengths, and gives them meaning and purpose. These are the people who are more likely to succeed.
The most successful people, the ones with the competitive edge, don’t look to happiness as some distant reward for their achievements; they are the ones who capitalize on the positive and reap the rewards at every turn.
Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.
Most people think that if they simply work harder, then they'll be more successful. And if they're more successful, then they'll also be happier.
The problem is that this logic is scientifically broken and backward.
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