“Breaking news! Success won’t make you happy. Wait, there is more. Borne out by science and decades of research; Success won’t make you happy BUT happy can make you successful! Yes, again, I repeat, happiness leads to success. Happiness leads to success!
From ancient times until now it has been pointed out that happiness and positive thinking and optimistic thinking is healthy and leads to better health, wealth, and abilities. Happiness makes you better at what you do and makes what you do much easier. Sadly, most people, through the centuries, got it backwards.
Sadly, people believe the right job or success, the right partner or mate, money or things would make them happy. They thought happiness came as a result of something else happening first.
Sad again. They only discovered that they delayed feeling good, if at all, and that even acquiring many things still left them feeling empty. It is because IT really is the other way around! It IS the other way!
It is time to straighten everyone out. The happier you are the healthier you tend to be. Happiness affects your health, your well-being, you ability to handle or process stress, your thinking and clarity and your productivity. The happier you are the more you can accomplish.
Happiness Is Its Own Reward And Has Multiple Benefits
Since the early 80’s I have been teaching workshops pointing out that by practicing happiness and positivity you could develop new neural pathways.You could develop wonderfully supportive habits, live more delightfully, successfully and happily, easily and nearly effortlessly.
You could open up your neurology to be capable of evolving yourself in positive ways. I suggested you could create positive habits which would positively serve you.
In my workshops we practice daily gratitude, asking positive directed questions, smiling more, laughing meditation, feeling good and accessing wonderful and powerful resource states, imaging a better future, scanning for positive and new moments each day and more. A lot more. But these were core rituals or practices.
We had rituals we did each class session and each day. I pointed out that making a habit requires a minimum of 21 days repeated practice or rehearsal. What people began as practice during my 10 or 14 day programs they were encourage to continue back home.
Habits Come From Rituals And Rituals Become Habits
Rituals are things we do everyday. For some people that includes hygiene, brushing teeth and washing. We eat, sleep, go to school or work. We may read the paper or get online. Have a cup of coffee. There are things we do regularly each and every day; sometimes multiple times throughout the day.
Spaced repetition builds habit. Correct spaced repetition builds reliable skill. Reading instructions doesn’t change you but implementing what the instructions tell you to do can change you. This is why I suggest doing these practices as often as possible each day.
I called it rehearsal, from my acting background, or the kind of conditioning athletes go through or practice professional sports teams undergo to build reliable skill sets for performance.
Create The Happiness Habit
I was harshly criticized in a number of books and publications as promoting pseudoscience and pie in the sky thinking. I was even accused (rightly) of utilizing the placebo effect.
How cool of me! Then again, they scoffed because I told people we could deliberately utilize the placebo effect. Some finally are catching on. Some Psychologists, as are scientists, catching up.
I and others pointed to things like ‘mirror neurons’ prior to their discovery. We knew through mediation, rapport studies, and other practice that many things were ‘contagious’. Smiling, rapport, happiness, peace, relaxation are infectious.
One person, neurologically, can affect another. Large groups practicing the meditation or laughter or peace have a dynamic, synergistic effect and affect others, even those not practicing. Hooray, some are finally catching on! Not nearly enough though.
Decades later research has verified what I knew back then, and far greater minds than mine have known for centuries. The better you feel the better you do. I repeat. The better you feel the better you do. Happiness leads to success and not the other way around.
Happiness is a choice! Practice feeling better a little bit each day. By practicing daily you eventually make it a reliable habit AND grow new neural pathways and connections thereby overall evolving yourself!!! Research Neuroplasticity and evolving your brain.
Here is the rub with science. IT is usually behind not ahead except for some cases. Scientific testing works this way to test a theory. Scientists make a claim, or stated hypotheses.
Happiness Is A Choice
Then they try to disprove the hypothesis. If it can’t be disproved it is accepted as the best theory you currently have for explaining what is going on. In research validation, they seek independent replication of results.
Science takes time to verify and establish new theories and validate. Not all science is equal, nor is it all good, nor is testing or reporting or publishing or disseminating the findings reliable or always upright.
BUT STILL much of science is what we hope it to be. Rigorous and trustworthy. OPEN and flexible. Because science is supposed to update theories, as better explanations become available, through testing.
Choose To Be Happy And You Will Be
There are many abstracts citing the research and conclusions. You can look them up. Look up topics such as happiness, optimism, placebo, overcoming depression naturally, mindfulness, meditation, relaxation, mirror neurons, etc.
There are many, MANY, books written citing the research in health, healing, attitude, psychology, meditation, spirituality. One I want to refer you to (not only because it concludes and incorporates many of the practices that I and others have taught for many years but) because they really delved into researching the topic.
You can read Shawn Anchor’s findings and the research conclusions in The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work. He has since published other books. Available at amazon. Check out the research and the results.
Why Would You Ever Choose To Not Be Happy
If you aren’t going to read it then at least stay tuned to this blog. I will bring you the latest and greatest as well as the oldest and the tried and true.
HAPPINESS is something that you can have more of anytime. If you do certain things you are guaranteed to become happier. It can be as easy as a couple minutes spent daily.
While, it probably won’t occur overnight it will occur in time as you stick with it. One of the greatest life transforming things you can do, is to practice gratitude. Feel gratitude, live it daily.
In my workshops I had people create list of 25 things they were grateful for each night. Shawn has them do as few as three every day. Something so simple can be so profound.
We’ll discuss more. We have happiness, beliefs, and a number of topics currently in play here. So keep reading and re-reading. Most importantly, begin doing, if you haven’t already, and keep doing.
You can rewire your brain, feel better, be healthier, think more clearly and enjoy more success and prosperity as you do! SO Celebrate everything!” Rex Sikes
Have a wonderful day!
If you think these posts would help others please share them. Please Help Spread the word.
Horizons photo used with permission of Phil Koch.
NEW BLOG SITE LAUNCHES SOON – Do you get this blog emailed to you? You will have to again subscribe to this blog, newsletter. I’d hate for you to miss anything when it switches. Subscribe and Follow Daily Inspiration and Gratitude!