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Home > Blog > Happiness: Secret ingredient for success
Out of Our Minds
Friday, March 31, 2006 10:25 PM
Happiness: Secret ingredient for success
Curt Rosengren on Health & Wellness

Want to increase your success potential? Get happy! That's what studies say, anyway.

Psychologists Ed Diener of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California, Riverside and Laura King of the University of Missouri-Columbia examined the results of tens of studies that tested the links between happiness and success.

They found that those with a song in their hearts are more likely to, among other things:
  • Get a job interview
  • Be employed
  • Perform well at work
  • Get higher evaluations from bosses
  • Make more money
  • Have jobs with more autonomy, meaning and variety
  • Avoid job burnout
They define a "happy" person as someone who frequently experiences joy, interest, and pride, and only infrequently experiences negative emotions like anger, anxiety and sadness.


If you're a born sourpuss, don't despair. There's still hope. They offer some suggestions for developing happiness.

In short-term studies lasting between six and 10 weeks, she found her subjects were able to boost their levels of happiness by doing one or more of the following:

  • Making an account every day of things in their life for which they're grateful
  • Practicing acts of kindness (for some financial examples, click here)
  • Making a concerted effort to think optimistically
  • Being forgiving

Lyubomirsky added that it's also helpful to have an important goal that you enjoy pursuing, or taking up something relaxing, such as meditation or yoga.


Heck, worst case scenario, you maintain the status quo but you enjoy life a whole lot more. Not bad, eh?


3 comments

Jerrome - 4/3/2006 12:19:45 PM
What's unsurprising about this is the relationship between happiness and success. Who wouldn't want to work with, buy from, etc. people who are good to be around?

What is surprising to me is how much the happiness quotient can be improved. Boy do I have some people who can use this!!!
Chris Yeh - 4/3/2006 1:02:26 AM
I'm not surprised at all. The best people I've worked with have been positive, upbeat, get-it-done people. The sourpusses could never match them, no matter how talented.
Arif Asfi - 4/1/2006 3:56:12 PM
All true, one's micro success is very much a function of his / her alignment with what is required for a goal, attaiment of which shall make he / she successful..For that one needs head for thinking,,heart for maintaining enough relationships which help u in tough times

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