Get happy to become successful, not the other way around

Harvard psychologist Shawn Anchor tells us that “Ninety per cent of your long term happiness is predicted not by the external world but by the way your brain processes that world.”

Research has shown that happiness isn’t something that comes to us after we have achieved success, it’s the other way around: we become happy, then we become successful.

“Your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise… and every single business outcome improves.”

So how do we get happy?

Turns out it’s simple. Do these five things every day for 21 days in a row:

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  • Write down three new things that you are grateful for, and after 21 days your brain starts to retain a pattern of scanning the world for the positive instead of the negative.
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  • Journal about one positive experience you have had over the past 24 hours, and you  reinforce that by remembering and reliving it.
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  • Take physical exercise, and your brain learns that your behaviour matters.
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  • Meditate, and you get over our “cultural ADHD” and teach your brain to focus on one task.
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  • Praise or thank someone every day and again you get into the habit of looking for the things that are going right.

Do these things every day for 21 days and your brain gets rewired for happiness, and becomes 31 percent more productive. Success follows.

So set an alarm on your smartphone: two minutes at the end of the day to review what went well; two minutes in the morning to thank or praise someone for something they did. Take exercise, and meditate.


These actions are part of the first step of The Churning’s journey into inner leadership, ‘Centre and Ground’.

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