Did you know that happiness can actually CAUSE your success... not the other way around?
For years society has conditioned us to believe that only AFTER we become successful, we'll be happy.
after we get the promotion...
after we find the right career...
after we lose that extra weight...
after we find our perfect partner...
You don't have to wait until you “get there" to be happy.
In fact, recent studies in positive psychology prove that happiness & optimism actually fuel performance. As author Shawn Achor of “The Happiness Advantage” states, “Cultivating positive brains makes us more motivated, efficient, resilient, creative, and productive, which drives performance upward.”
Unfortunately, it’s all too common for many of us to prioritize external goals over our own happiness. This tends to be especially true with the high achievers I coach, and often leads to burnout.
Part of this comes from the notion that happiness is “earned” through hard work alone.
Therefore until one has put in adequate time and energy to accomplish what they set out to do, all joyful activities are secondary. Not surprisingly, when goals take longer to reach, these same high achievers tend to do less activities that bring them happiness because their time is focused solely on moving their projects and tasks forward.
Perhaps surprisingly, the times you are the busiest at work are actually the most important times for you to schedule in moments to refill your cup with joy. Because operating from a depleted state means less creativity and energy to solve problems. Plus, once your nervous system experiences burnout it can take much longer to recover to your optimal state. Up to three years for burnout from work-related stress, as one 1998 study found.
But the good news is that you don’t need ample extra time or energy to start experiencing more joy in your life (which subsequently reduces your risk of burnout).
In fact, it’s much more doable and sustainable to start small.
Here’s 3 ways you can start cultivating more happiness today
Schedule more moments that bring you joy.
This one seems obvious, but the key here is to start awakening to the things that bring you joy and find small enough actions that you can schedule at least one each day.
I go into this in more detail in my Happiness Hacks FitPros talk, but essentially you’ll want to start by simply paying attention to the small moments of your day that bring you joy. Anything from snuggles with your pet, to going on a walk with an inspirational podcast, to putting on your favorite cozy slippers when you get home.
Once you have a list of 10-20 items, you can more easily schedule them into your week.
Live your values.
Knowing your core values will help you solidify your self-identity, and streamline your
decision-making process so you can confidently direct your life in a way that feels aligned. One way to get started is to go through a list of common core values (a great list can be found here) and identify the top 3-5 values that feel most important to you.
Next, ask yourself how you can experience more of each value in specific areas of your life. For example, if “growth” is a core value of yours, you could look for new opportunities to improve your knowledge in your career, or look for how you could create more value and show up as a leader for your team.
Explore your resistance.
If you find yourself dreading certain tasks, slow down and get curious.
Here are some of my favorite questions for personal inquiry.
● Why am I doing this and how does it connect to a bigger goal?
Having your task tied to a larger goal you truly believe in can make the work more bearable.
● What don't I like about this task?
Getting clear around the part you dislike the most is the first step towards problem solving.
● Can I delegate or stop doing this?
Too often we blindly continue to do what we think we “should” do, rather than questioning 1) Is it really necessary? and 2) Am I the best person for the job?
● What would it look like if this were fun or easy?
Give yourself permission to be silly and think outside the box for this one. Who knows, you might surprise yourself with a great idea!
Hopefully this short read inspired you with some simple ways you can cultivate more joy and fulfillment yourself rather than outsourcing it to someONE or someTHING else in the future.
As you go back into your day-to-day life, remember to start with just one thing, keep it small, and build momentum. This will give you the confidence to keep going, while enjoying yourself in the meantime.
Learn More about China and Women Who Warrior HERE
Contact us today to schedule one or more of these sessions to cultivate more happiness!
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