Tag Archives: happiness

Thrive: The Third Metric…

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, by Arianna Huffington, Crown Publishing Group, Random House LLC, New York, New York, 2014.

If you get the opportunity to see Arianna Huffington speak live at any kind of event, make sure to go! I saw her at the ASTD International Conference in Washington D.C. last spring and immediately bought two copies of her brand new book, Thrive.

Huffington’s personal story, combined with her own extraordinary success as the co-founder of the Huffington Post Media Group, grabbed my attention right away. She was singing my song! All of us need to be very aware of how we are defining “success” for ourselves. And then to have the courage to ask ourselves if that definition is getting us to where we really want to go at this time in our lives. Don’t hurry reading this book – savor it and enjoy!

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What is “Essential” to You? Focus on the Power of Five

In deciding what is essential, I always start with identifying the outcome I want in a certain area. And then I think about the strategy I need to achieve this outcome and what disciplined approach will be most effective in implementing the strategy.

Here’s what it looks like – it’s actually my annual business plan.

  1. I draw out my favorite Olympic Circles picture – five interconnecting circles.
  2. In each circle, I write an area of my business that I have chosen to be essential in the coming year. My five areas for 2015 are:

Individual Career Transition Coaching; Corporate Partnerships (Training & Coaching); Mentoring/Prof. Development; Marketing; Business of the Business.

These five areas are where I want to devote my time and energy this year.

When I do that in a disciplined way, I am extremely effective in achieving my goals and my business grows and flourishes!

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3 Ways to Retrain Your Brain Each Day!

All through my professional work history as a child abuse social worker, psychotherapist, corporate trainer and career/leadership coach, I have always embraced the power of positive emotional health. It is critical in all areas of our lives. And we as individuals have the responsibility to protect but also strategically develop our emotional well-being each and every day.

Taking care of ourselves in this way has a wonderful positive ripple effect on our families, our work and in our communities. Here are my favorite 3 ways to retrain our brains each day.

  • Before you get out of bed in the morning – identify 3 things that you are grateful or thankful for in this new day.
  • Do a small act of kindness each day . . . and don’t tell anyone else about it.
  • When you go to bed at night – identify 3 things that went well that day (Seligman’s What Went Well exercise).

Do these three things for a full week. What do you notice? How has your thinking shifted? I hope you are noticing less negative thoughts and a few more positive ripples in the chatter we all hear in our heads during the day. Enjoy the change!

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The Happiness Advantage

The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance, by Shawn Achor, Random House Publishers, New York, New York. (2010)

I found this book fascinating because it clearly shakes up our old cultural beliefs that first we need to find external “successes” before we will find “happiness”. Achor takes us along his research path – starting first with Harvard University freshman – and then into the wealth of studies in positive psychology over the last several years. I’m convinced! My time and energy is best spent on ensuring that I maximize my positive emotions to benefit both my professional and personal life.

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The Business Case for “Happiness”

So which comes first? Success or “happiness”? It’s ingrained in our American culture that if we work hard, we will become successful and once we are successful, then we will be happy. But is this really true? As we learn more about what really motivates people and how positive emotions influence all facets of our lives we see that this formula is actually backward.

Don’t believe me? Think about it . . . if success brings happiness, then each time we get that new job, new promotion, find that ideal husband, new house, new car or lose that five pounds we would be happy. But often something very different happens. We start thinking that this isn’t enough – we push out the criteria for our happiness even further. We are always waiting, waiting, waiting to really be happy.

So this is what the hard science tells us . . . in the last 10 – 15 years there has been an abundance of research in the area of positive psychology or “happiness”. And the results are clear . . . positive emotions engage and motivate us to stretch, grow and perform at our very best. We see the world clearer, especially the possibilities that we could tap into. And from that foundation of personal confidence, resiliency and creativity, we make ourselves available for opportunity. Success then seems to find us – almost falls in our laps.

So here’s the ROI of happiness . . . People do business with people they know, like and trust. We all like to be around positive, energetic and optimistic friends, family and work colleagues. We even do business with companies that project that positivity – think of highly successful Southwest Airlines. And we have total control over our own emotions – negative and positive. I vote for putting my time and energy into where I’m going to benefit the most and that is in my own “happiness”.

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