Welcome to the first in a series of short posts on happiness.
Happiness expert Sonja Lyubomirsky tells us, “[H]appiness is…about engagement and meaning and progressing toward your goals… People who are happy accrue a lot of positive outcomes. They’re healthier, more creative and have better relationships.”[i] I heartily affirm that happiness enhances success at consensus building and communication skills.
It’s not selfish to attend to your own happiness because, “Happiness is as contagious as gloom. It should be the duty of those who are happy to let others know of their gladness.”[ii]
Elizabeth Gilbert elaborates, “I can’t personally end all wars… or transform vexing people into entirely different creatures… But I do have some influence on everyone I brush up against, even if we never speak or learn each other’s name. How we behave matters because within human society everything is contagious—sadness and anger, yes, but also patience and generosity. Which means we all have more influence than we realize.”[iii]
So boosting others’ happiness is like dealing with oxygen masks on a plane. If you get your own on first, you can better help your seatmate.
Increasing my happiness increases my clients’ happiness. That, in turn, enhances their learning success. And when they successfully practice the skills they learn (or any other goals), they form a feedback loop to even more happiness.
I’m currently taking proactive steps to increase my happiness. I’ll share some of them in my next post.
[i] AARP Bulletin, June 2016.
[ii] Maurice Maeterlinck
[iii] “This Little Light of Yours,” Oprah Magazine, May, 2016