We do not become happy because we are successful; we become successful because we are happy.
Happiness drives success.
Dr. Holden very nicely sums up one of the most powerful findings from the research on happiness, subjective well-being (SWB), and human flourishing.
Existing evidence indicates that across the board, people high in SWB function more effectively than people lower in SWB. They are more likely to have more successful relationships, to be more productive at work, to have higher incomes, and to have better physical and mental health. In every major life domain, happy people are on average more successful.
One of the indispensable qualities of great leaders is that they are inwardly and authentically happy and nurture that happiness for themselves and others.
So, what drives happiness?
Gratitude is the bridge to happiness. In multiple studies, a daily focus on gratitude has been demonstrated to, among many other benefits, increase happiness and positive affect. So, gratitude leads to happiness and happiness leads to success. That's why I call gratitude the bridge to happiness and success.
Of course there are there other paths. But in a landmark collection on the practical applications of positive psychology (1), gratitude and happiness researchers concluded that “gratitude is a key element for sparking positive changes in individuals, families, and organizations”—and it's free and so easy to practice!
Another interesting finding from the research is that you can amplify the power of any gift or act which you are hoping will generate gratitude.
More gratitude is created when the act or gift meets three criteria:
So, the research also shows that unexpected benefits or gifts appear to generate the most gratitude. Some of the best benefits and gifts we receive on our life journey are the ones that come as a surprise and are least expected.
This week of Thanksgiving and this month being National Gratitude Month are a great time and opportunity to adopt or enhance a practice of gratitude.
Every night, I rock my twin seven-year old boys for just a few minutes as part of our nightly routine. We each share something we are grateful for from the day and then watch a personalized video I created during the pandemic with the music to Elijah and the Band of Light's song, Give Thanks!, playing in the background.
Below is the version we watched up until I created our own version. We still watch this one from time to time, too. I hope you enjoy it!
I want to wish you and yours a blessed and joy-filled Thanksgiving!
Alan Mikolaj is a professional, experienced, positive, and passionate speaker, leadership and organizational development consultant, change agent, author, and coach.
Impactful change starts with a conversation! Schedule your FREE, 1-hour discovery session now. Just click here: Discovery Conversation Calendar
Have an amazing journey, today!
Alan maintains the ethics and standards of behavior established by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), including the standards regarding confidentiality. You can learn more about them on the ICF website.
(1) Bono, G., Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E. (2004). Gratitude in Practice and the Practice of Gratitude. In P. A. Linley, & S. Joseph (Eds.), Positive Psychology in Practice (pp. 464-481). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Alan Mikolaj is a a professional, experienced, positive, and passionate speaker, leadership and organizational development consultant, change agent, author, and coach. He holds his Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Sam Houston State University. He is a certified graduate coach from Coaching Out of the Box and holds his ACC and membership with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
Free Discovery Conversation!
Impactful change starts with a conversation! Schedule your free, one-hour session by clicking here: Discovery Conversation with Alan
Or call or email: Contact Page
In his third book, A Travel Guide to Leadership, Alan offers you simple, fundamental, and powerful lessons that have the power to transform you, your relationships, and your career.