Go on. Really?
Well, it’s actually a book about the effectiveness of positive thinking. I know what you’re thinking……
…….I actually don’t so I won’t even go there.
To be perfectly honest I can’t remember how I came across this book in the first place. The only thing I can say is its serendipity.
It looked compelling so I immediately checked out the bio of the author Shawn Achor and after poking around a bit on-line I decided it would be a worthwhile read. Why not? What’s the harm in a little coaching on positive thinking? The book, The Happiness Advantage, explores the notion that happiness, in whatever form you find it, creates opportunity in your life enhancing your ability to achieve your brand of success.
There are no foolproof answers in this book for success.
I think that’s what drew me to it.
There are tips and techniques to show you the impact of a positive mindset and what triggers, in daily life, we can recognize in order to maximize our potential whatever that potential may be.
I am not really reading this as a business book even though the first chapter is titled Happiness at Work. I am taking work to mean the action and not the noun. Regardless, many of the stories the author tells center on his time spent working with the corporate C-Suite demonstrating the advantages that can become a company when they themselves and their employees find happiness in life through positive actions and activity.
Who wouldn’t want boundless positivity where they work? I thought to myself and at the same time I actually said to myself: Duh?
Right? I mean, c’mon, treat people well, be happy and they will follow. Pretty damn obvious.
Sure, it’s obvious but I am reading it anyway.
Outside of the amazing statistical data there is very little in this book that is shocking or new at all yet I can’t seem to put it down. I catch myself nodding my head (yes) on almost every page.
Mr. Achor outlines some techniques or what he calls happiness principles which can put you in a better position to find the positive effects in the activities of your daily life. Some are easy to grasp. Some not so much but what is great about these techniques is that you don’t have to perfect them. It’s mostly a matter of recognition.
Common sense prevails and I read these principles in the same way.
So, am I happy I ask myself and as I read this book I realise that there many ways to define happiness. In fact, there are areas of my life where I am happier than others but what’s more important to me is the notion described in this book about the opportunity to change some very small things in my life to make others feel good.
To make others feel good.
Here’s the deal and it’s a big deal.
I have written the formula happy employees = happy clients many times in the past. I truly believe that and now I have some measurable techniques that I can use to see how I can impact my team. As a manager I can further impact how my team performs by using some of the simple tools and tips presented in this book. If I really think about it I have the opportunity to influence people’s behaviour on both sides of the organizational hierarchy.
I see this as a unique opportunity.
As I mentioned my belief has been that if your team is as happy as they can be the side effect of that will rub off on who they come in contact with; their peers, their superiors and their clients. It is certainly a win win situation, isn’t it?
It didn’t start out that way for me.
Okay, here he goes…….
It has only been in the last few years that I realised the benefit of focussing on the positive and the effect positivity has on you and the people around you. I struggle with this personally and have some skeletons that rattle around in that particular closet. At times the noise is loud enough to affect my manner but I have learned to change it, ignore those old bones and move on. The techniques in this book will certainly help me to recognize the triggers for these changes in mindset.
There are also some activities in the first chapter that anyone can easily do to help put you in a positive mindset. As I read the chapter I realized that most of these activities I don’t apply in my daily life.
How can that be?
One of those activities to help you change your mindset in The Happiness Advantage is working on one of your unique skills or exercising one of your signature strengths. One that you are good at, one that gets you up in the morning and one that feels good. One that challenged your to learn and to find satisfaction in the results you skill yields. Using this tool, in my mind, is the most important thing anyone can do. It just seems to have the most potency for me.
Mine is the love I have for creating content for this blog; writing, images and video.
I discovered this desire a mere 18 months ago and it has helped me immensely. It is cathartic to write ideas down and throw them out there. It simply feels good.
Over to you: What is your signature strength?
Think about it and please share it with yourself. If you want to tell me about it please do. I would love to know. I just think it’s cool to share your passion.