I am yet to find a clear definition of happiness. To me its a feeling; like when i am positive, in a good mood, at peace, laughing, smiling, in love, with my loved ones then i am happy. I can’t really describe what happiness is. I am feeling happy right now as i am typing this and i don’t even know why.
I am not here to tell you how happy i am but rather to educate you on the advantages of being happy. Part of it will come from my own experience and another from a book that inspired me to write this,’ THE HAPPINESS ADVANTAGE’ by Shawn Achor.
At one point in life i felt that one can only become happy after they are successful. I realize now that i do not need to be successful to be happy, because the moment i get what i want i will simply want more hence postponing my happiness.
I have met people who have not been as privileged as i am and yet they seemed so happy. A recent survey showed that Kenyans are the second happiest people in Africa after Rwanda, despite all the unfortunate things that have happened in the recent past.( Euro bond saga, elnino, drought, strikes,corruption,accidents, terrorist attacks, post election violence and so on…
According to Shawn Achor, author of The happiness advantage, happiness is the precursor to success. This means that, to be successful one needs to be happy and not the other way round.
“The happiness advantage asks us to be realistic about the present while maximizing our potential for the future. Its about learning how to cultivate the mindset and behaviors that have been empirically proven to fuel greater success and fulfillment. It is a work ethic”
Being happy has so many advantages;
Happiness leads to success in nearly all domains of our lives.
Happiness and optimism actually fuel performance and achieve giving us the competitive edge. Cultivating positive brains makes us more motivated, efficient, resilient, creative and productive which drives performance upwards.
The happiness advantage at work
Happy workers have higher levels of productivity,produce higher sales, perform better in leadership positions and receive higher performance rating and even higher pay.
Companies which take measures to cultivate a happy work place have more productive and efficient workers. They also have less absenteeism.
It improves our physical health, which in turn keeps us working faster and longer and therefore makes us more likely to succeed.
Happy people endure pain better than unhappy people. They also have stronger immune systems.
It feels good
Being happy generally makes us feel good.
Optimists( a characteristic of happy people) live longer than pessimists.
On mental health
Happier people have less depression , less paranoia and are less suicidal than unhappy people . They also have greater self control and coping skills.
Happy people enjoy better relationships than unhappy people. A happy person is likely to influence positiveness on their partners.
What we spend our time and mental energy focusing on can indeed become our reality. Our brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative but when they are positive.
Positive emotions that show we are happy include; joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe and love.
This year my challenge to you is to be happy. Make it your goal to be happy. Laugh harder, smile genuinely, dance, jump, think positive, be positive,Listen to that song that makes you light up, do whatever makes you happy. Life will be a lot better if you are happy.
This is my wish to you this year. Be happy. Happy new year 2016!