I have been doing research into the emerging science of ‘Positive Psychology’ and my findings have been fascinating. I would love to introduce you to the work of Barbara Frederickson. Her work has had a profound impact on me and her research features quite heavily in my teachings specifically around peak performance and leadership.
Frederickson determined that there is a positivity ratio and that ratio is 3:1. That is we need three positive emotions or feelings to every one negative. We either spiral upwards or we spiral downwards.
We literally need to train our brain to look for all of the good things, the wins that have happened in our day or week and we need to write them down. We need to give ourselves every opportunity of feeling good about ourselves and to acknowledge our wins – no matter how big or small. If we train our brain to look for the positives (because it usually does not happen this way given the way our brain works), we can increase our wellbeing and set ourselves up for happiness and ultimately success.
Lets have a look at the correlation that Frederickson has made between profitability and positive wellbeing in the workplace. She says that if there is a ratio of greater than 3:1 positive emotions then the business is considered to be economically sound. If the ratio is less than that, then the business is likely to be financially in trouble. There is a definite correlation between happiness (wellbeing) and the success of a business (its prosperity) and this is why engagement and culture is so critical when it comes to building a successful and profitable business.
Our emotional states are contagious. If you surround yourself with people who are positive and who feel good about themselves, you too, will feel good about yourself. If you choose to spend time with people who are negative and pessimistic, the chances of you feeling the same way are very high. Our social circle and who we choose to spend time with will have dramatic impacts on the amount of wellbeing that we have and what we go on to achieve in our life and in business.
Be conscious and deliberate about building your positivity muscle. A simple tool that I use each night before I go to sleep is what I call ‘The Achievement Journal’. I am deliberately looking for three things in my day that went well – big or small and personal or business. I am strategically and very consciously looking for any small achievement or win that builds and enhances my positivity ratio which in turn has dramatic impacts on my wellbeing and my results.
Set yourself a goal to look for at-least three things each day that went well and track your results. You will be amazed at what you can achieve.