If you need a miracle to convince your old-fashioned manager, try this unicorn

by Vasco Duarte

As you probably know, I’m always looking for ways to make people happier at their work. Why? Because I believe people work better, faster and more accurate when happy. Unfortunately, some old fashioned managers look at me like I’m preaching homeopathy. As long as I don’t slap them in de face with facts, they’re likely to ignore my quest and me. Well, I thought, it’s time to get my unicorn out of the stable.

En Garde!

I’ll be happy, one day

But before we charge, let’s talk about what society’s view on happiness is. Last week I saw this TED movie by Shawn Achor and he explains it quite well. Society thinks of happiness as something you will experience as soon as you reach your goals. And the harder you work, the happier you will be once you’re finished. But in reality, you’re never done. Because the moment you reach your goals, new goals appear on the horizon. Like better grades, more results etcetera. By doing so, you postpone your happiness. Again, again and again.

Reaching out to happiness

Achor states that we ‘pushed happiness over the cognitive horizon’ by our way of thinking and that actually ‘our mind works the other way around’. His research shows that it’s not the external world that decides our happiness, but the way we look at things that happen. That lens through which we look decides for a staggering 90% how we feel. He goes on by telling us that our brain works better ‘when happy than when negative, neutral or stressed’. We are more productive and creative, doctors come up with more correct diagnoses and so on.

It’s not our success that defines our happiness, it’s our happiness that defines our success.

Train your brain

‘Yes, but Melly, I’m just the human equivalent of Grumpy Cat, for sure I can’t change that?’ Trust me, you can. Achor found out that you can rewire your brain within a month. You can train your brain to first look for the positive by writing down three things you are grateful for every day, by meditating so you learn how to live in the now and by random acts of kindness, like complementing someone for something she’s done. Inspired? Wait till you watched the video. He’s funny guy this Achor. He’s done research and he’s related to a unicorn, how cool is that?

Thanks for reading this post and check out the video below,

 

Photo: Wilmer Martinez (Unsplash)

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