Have you ever considered the link between your happiest days and your most productive moments? It’s no mere coincidence. Beyond its feel-good factor, happiness holds the key to unlocking our maximum potential, increasing our success and satisfaction, improving our health, fuelling our creativity, and enhancing our relationships.
This is more than a feeling – it is a science that can unlock human performance. Yet, we shy away from it. Why?
Is it because the idea of happiness makes us ‘cringe,’ it isn’t tangible or we don’t have the time? We make the time for our nutrition, our exercise – even those minutes (and hours) we lose paralysed by stress and anxiety.
What if for a moment we convert that worry to wonder? What if we integrate the science of happiness into our day and experience the benefits 24/7? Let’s dive into this for 5 minutes – and if you’re not convinced, I’d love to hear from you to meet you where you are in your journey.
Ashish and I addressed this topic in a HAPPINESS SQUAD Podcast with our special guest Jessica Weiss. With 15 years of researching happiness, Jessica has advised individuals and giants like Coca-Cola on fostering joyful workspaces. Jessica infuses wit into her mission: making work a source of genuine joy.
I’d like to share a few game-changing habits for personal and work happiness. Harnessing one of these may inspire you to uncover how happiness is truly the science behind our best human performances.
There are three areas that make this my competitive edge:
- Redefining happiness
- Role of happiness in the workplace
- Three habits to integrate happiness
“We can all create more happiness in our lives, but we need to be intentional and deliberate about it. We need to use tools. We need to use information, and organizations are in a wonderful position to bring that to the people that work for them.”Jessica Weiss
For most people, happiness is all about positive emotions and being continuously cheerful and happy. However, that is neither possible nor sustainable. That’s not how life works. True happiness goes beyond transient emotions. It’s about cultivating a profound, enduring contentment that stands the test of time and daily experiences.
For Jessica, there is a science behind happiness based on three pillars: nurturing genuine friendships and relationships, fostering enthusiasm and engagement in daily activities, and deriving satisfaction and purpose from one’s work. By actively enhancing these aspects of our lives, we not only enrich our daily experiences but also establish a foundation for long-term, sustainable well-being.
I invite you to take a moment. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths. Imagine a moment where you were creative, ideas flowing. How did you feel? What can you do to unlock that feeling during moments of difficulty – an act of self compassion, a conversation with a peer, a brief walk outside or simply standing up and stretching? Now, write that down – capture it. Give it a try a few minutes daily as part of your routine. This is in part the proven science of happiness that will unlock your potential.
The Role of Happiness in the Workplace
At work, happiness can be a tool to unlock the utmost potential of an individual. When we’re happy, our minds are sharper, our ideas fresher, and our connections deeper. When we’re joyful and content, our innovative and creative spirits thrive, setting us on a path to greater accomplishments.
Jessica pointed out that happiness is a steady mindset that positively impacts various aspects of our abilities and behaviors. Choosing to be happy isn’t just about personal contentment; it’s the key to making a larger impact in the world.
I had a conversation with a colleague at work the other day. “What do you want to achieve at work?” He started to list business objectives and I paused him, “Sorry, I meant, what do you want to achieve for yourself?” His response: “More clarity, coherence…and to be energized by the work I do!” I love it – for him to jump out of bed each morning, it is a mindset he wishes to embody at work! It isn’t the strategy or objectives per se (those will come and go), rather feeling positive and energized about how he is feeling. Knowing him, he would radiate this around his peers and empower those around him. Imagine that!
Do you feel the same way? If so, how do we unlock that energy?
Three Habits to Integrate Happiness
To unlock the power of the science happiness, Jessica, Ashish and I discussed three habits she encourages her clients to integrate into their lives:
- Incorporate more optimism into your life Jessica believes being optimistic means understanding you have control over situations. Problems aren’t overwhelming; they’re solvable events. With optimism, we positively embrace and work towards change. Research shows that optimists don’t necessarily have blinders on; in fact, they are more mindful of risks and threats. They don’t wear rose-colored glasses but rather understand that positive perspectives are reliant on their own efforts. One of the micro-practices in the REWIRE Program encourages a visualization technique that can cultivate this ability that is within each of us in just a few minutes a day.
- Keep a Joy Journal A “Joy Journal” is a tool designed to enhance daily positivity to shift our minds from our negative bias. Unlike regular journaling that prompts you to simply list 1 – 3 happy moments, go one step further and spend 2 minutes writing or reflecting on the “why or what” that made that moment great. I’ve started to do this – in fact, I repurposed the 70% of the “To-Do” page in my journal to achieve this! (One for me – a meeting got cancelled, I got an extra hour to complete my key focus for the day. go for a brief walk, ring my wife and have a brief chat with her on how her day was going – SUCCESS!). Although I may not flush each one out, I reflect on them either at the start or end of my day. This practice shifts my focus from negativity, actively seeking daily joys and simple pleasures and re-experiencing the moment. Just a few extra minutes of an existing practice – POWERFUL!
- Allocate time for yourself All too often, we wear the “badge of busyness” at work (and maybe at home!). But according to Jessica, rather than being consumed by endless meetings or emails, it’s essential to dedicate time for meaningful tasks. This approach emphasizes setting substantial goals and appreciating the small achievements along the journey, boosting our overall happiness. Focus on 1-2 of those priorities in your day (the big rocks) rather than addressing those pesky small pebbles that feel like quicksand. One technique that I have started using is the URGENT v Important Matrix or simply asking myself “why am I doing this and what is the output that I want to achieve?” Clarity and coherence.
“You need to build time into your day where you are working on something that is meaningful to you.”Jessica Weiss
Happiness can be more than a feeling. If we want to feel happy, we can just say, “I’m happy!” But, that feeling will be short lived. By integrating practices into our day, they will slowly become habits that can unlock our potential and unleash our performance. The best part – it is the good kind of contagious – it will spread. Your colleagues and peers will ask you what you are on – ask Ashish – people ask him what he is high on (inside joke, as he lives in Boulder, CO) – he responds, “I’m high on life!”
We can all do this – no special diet or crazy exercise regimen. My invitation is to take one of the tips Jessica, Ashish and I share above and anchor it to something you do each day and see how at the individual level, it can change – wait…transform your life (because you won’t want to go back to your old self!).
We can be the change we want to see – and trust me, the next blog is coming on how leaders can unlock the science of happiness for their teams.
Are you ready? Your future self will thank you for it!
Jessica Weiss is a speaker and consultant who teaches businesses how to find more happiness, fulfillment, and satisfaction at work. With 15 years of experience working with global brands like Coca-Cola, Jessica is a trusted source for those who are searching for tangible, research-based strategies to create happier workers. As a TEDx speaker and organizational leadership expert, Jessica who uses her humor and “tell-it-like-it-is” style to teach companies across the country why work can and should be a source of happiness, and how to create spaces where people love to work.
Learn more about Jessica at her website and LinkedIn.
Listen to the podcast with Ashish, Anil and Jessica below.
Access and subscribe to the all of the episodes of the Happiness Squad Podcast here.
Visit the REWIRE Program powered up by the HAPPINESS SQUAD Community and experience your shift within your 30 day risk-free trial today. Cultivate your Self-Awareness, Gratitude, Purpose and Community and personal growth more through the 9 Hardwired for Happiness practices. Integrate simple and proven micro-practices grounded in the science of happiness and neuroscience of habit formation in a 5 minutes a day.
Make Happiness Your Competitive Edge.