Working longer and harder won’t get you the comfort you are looking for, but these ways might…
As Americans, we have a strong work ethic.,and reports show that we are working longer hours than ever before. In our minds there is a narrative that says if we work hard, we will earn our happiness. But is this really the case? Emma Seppala, the science director for Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and author of The Happiness Track, disagrees.
In her book, Seppala states that working harder and for longer will not bring you the success and happiness that you are looking for, but provides scientifically proven ideas that will. Her book offers the neuroscientific research that shows the effects of hard work on the brain and its relationship with happiness. She writes in this blog post that, “When I looked at the research, I saw that – overwhelmingly – happiness is actually the secret to success.”
Rather than working our lives away, Seppala has seven recommendations to get back on track for happiness and success:
- Live in the moment.
Rather than spending most of our time worrying about next week, month or year, train yourself to live right now and enjoy where you are, what you are doing and who you are with. Anxiety created from the unknown instills a sense of dread and robs us of our happiness.
- Train your resilience mechanisms.
Rather than learning how to play it safe or avoid criticism, train your resilience mechanisms to bounce back from tough situations. Don’t live your life in overdrive – instead learn how to recover from situations that rock our foundations.
- Monitor your energy.
Burning out is a real thing, and too much work and not enough play will eventually lead to you becoming burnt out. Instead, teach yourself how to prioritize and apply the most energy to the most important aspects of your life.
- Sometimes, just do nothing.
Don’t feel guilty for not doing more, more, more. Learn how to sit quietly for a few moments. Find silly and meaningless ways to occupy your time every once in a while. You will be surprised at how refreshed you will feel when you have taken some time to just relax or play.
- Be kind to yourself.
Often high achievers are their own worst critics and can be pretty cruel to themselves. Train yourself to apply the same compassion to yourself as you would give another person. Creating goals is great, but criticising yourself when you fall short will cause more harm than good.
- Be brave.
To truly find the success we all want, it is important to be okay with stepping outside of your comfort zone every once in a while. Routine is said to be the death of creativity, so when you feel like your life is in a rut be brave and get outside of your comfort zone.
- Show compassion to others.
By being of service to others you can fully discover happiness. It is not a secret. Show compassion to those around you in big and small ways. In the end, how we treat others is all we have to gauge our success.
There are many ways to track your happiness progress, but many recommend keeping a written record of your achievements towards success. Many happiness seekers create blogs to share their progress with others searching for the same goals. Blogs create a perfect platform for engaging with others and sharing your success.
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