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Why Happiness Comes Before Success

QUESTION: What has been one of the most influential books you have read?

ANSWER: There is a phenomenal book called The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor; I read this book in 2012 and it was, honestly, life-changing. It was such an impactful book because it completely changed my perspective. I love this book so much that I recently sent a copy to all of my Platinum clients. 

The number one thing I took away from the book is most people believe when they become successful, they can then become happy. Shawn is Harvard educated and has shaped his career around happiness. He is not some guy who believes in positivity and just all this stuff, his work is all based on brain science. However, the book is not written like a textbook, it is a very easy read.   

Here are a couple of key highlights.  

As mentioned earlier, most people feel success begets happiness. The way the brain works is when you are happy you increase the likelihood of becoming successful by a significant factor.  Some of the ways you do that is constantly having things to look forward to. This exercise mentioned in our last blog post (insert link), on imagining a great month is putting happiness and success out into the future and having that outcome to look forward to.  

The key is that the brain does not know the difference between what is real and what you imagine to be real. The more legs you put under that experience of what a great day, month, or year looks like, the more likely your brain treats it as an experience it already had and you actually will gravitate to it. Meaning if you have visual images, such as imagining yourself in certain places, doing certain things, getting search assignments, whatever, the more likely these things will happen.  

For many, this may sound like a lot of woo or not at all realistic. Whenever I hear somebody use the word realistic, I know I am talking to a pessimist. Someone who, by default, is more likely to seek out why things will not work versus what has to be true for them to work.  

The opposite is true. The more we imagine success, the more we begin to see evidence of success, the more happiness, AND success we receive. All of this is backed by science.

Great question, thanks so much for asking! 

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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