“From a review of 225 studies in the December 2005 issue of Psychological Bulletin, published by the American Psychological Association, lead author Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., of the University of California, Riverside, found that chronically happy people are in general more successful across many life domains than less happy people and their happiness is in large part a consequence of their positive emotions rather than vice versa. … there is … strong support that happiness, in many cases, leads to successful outcomes, rather than merely following from them … and happy individuals are more likely … to have fulfilling marriages and relationships, high incomes, superior work performance, community involvement, robust health and even a long life.”
Shawn Achor, CEO of Good Think, Inc., and author of The Happiness Advantage, who after a decade of research “in the business world proves that happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome: raising sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%, as well as a myriad of health and quality-of-life improvements.”
OK, you might be saying, I hear you! But I think I was born with a negative outlook or my childhood caused me to be a negative person. This coupled with our goal oriented culture, tends to make us look for problems to solve – which does not lend itself to being positive. So, what can I do?
Becoming more positive is actually pretty straightforward. You need to practice thinking about and seeing people and situations in a positive light. It takes practice; as a matter of fact, it is a practice – it needs to become a life-long habit. Achor reports that “new research on neuroplasticity — the ability of the brain to change even as an adult — reveals that moderate actions can rewire the brain, as you create ‘life habits.’”
In The Happiness Advantage, Achor challenges his “readers to do one brief positive exercise every day for 21 days.” Behavioral change is the key. Here are the exercises he suggests:
“Write down three new things you are grateful for each day; Write for two minutes a day describing one positive experience you had over the past 24 hours; Exercise for 10 minutes a day; Meditate for two minutes, focusing on your breath going in and out; Write one quick email first thing in the morning thanking or praising someone in your social support network (family member, friend, old teacher).”
Actually, Reb Nachman of Breslov, (1772 – 1810) had the answer to becoming a happier, more positive person long before the current research. In Likutey Maharan I, #282 he wrote: “Seek out the good in yourself. When you start examining yourself you may think there is not much good in you to be happy about … Search until you find some small good point in yourself to make you happy and restore confidence and vitality. Then continue searching until you find another good point and then another.”
We wish you much success in becoming the positive individual that employers are looking to hire and retain. It is a behavior change that is possible to achieve and will reap many benefits. There is incredible power in being absolutely, positively positive. May the power of the positive be with you!
We welcome your feedback. Please email your career-related inquiries and/or feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Touro College’s Career Services assists Touro students and alumni in all aspects of their career search. Contributing to this feature are S. Ronald Ansel, MBA, CPC, Director of Career Services, Chaim Shapiro, M.Ed, and Sarri Singer, Assistant Directors.