Did you know that the connection between happiness and goal accomplishment has now been proven to be undeniable? In fact, the connection is so profound that we are encouraged to gauge how happy we are and then look for ways to improve our well being in order to perform at optimum levels and achieve our potential.
The work of Caroline Miller suggests that there are four key common characteristics of happy and successful people. These are certainly not the only characteristics of happy and successful people, they are the four most common. How would you rate yourself in each of these four areas?
1. Optimism: they have resilience and can bounce back from defeat.
2. Self-belief: stems from high self-regard. They like themselves.
3. Extraversion: social isolation hurts us more than smoking or high cholesterol in shortening our life – (loneliness ages us)
4. Self-efficacy: they are in control of their own destiny.
The good news is that all of these traits can be learned. We know what inspires us and what things make us happy and we all have the resources inside of ourselves to be able to cultivate those emotions. The research suggests that between 50-80% of our own contentment is completely within our own control.
Here is another interesting fact. The brain does not differentiate between what is real and what is imagined. We can trigger all of the physical symptoms of fear and failure by simply imaging an event not turning out very well. The reverse is also true. We can trigger all of the feelings of success and confidence by recalling other times from our past where we felt good and where we had success.
Experience this yourself. Think of a time where you felt at your best, where you were confident, motivated or even excited. If you recall that memory or experience and go back to that time and see what you saw and hear what you heard and feel all of those feelings again – what happens? All of those same feelings come back again don’t they?
If we spent time thinking back over all of our past failings and disappointments, the events that haven’t served us well, then the chances are we would become an expert in being sad and depressed.
We can use this information about our brain to our best advantage OR to our detriment.
Before a major meeting, important presentation or even a sporting match, set yourself up for success by recalling previous times where you felt good about yourself and where you had success.
Start to build a habit by being more conscious and deliberate about the thoughts that you think. Practice recalling empowering experiences and memories that make you feel good and that remind you of your successes so that you are able to bring back all of those same feelings.
This is one simple and effective strategy for building happiness and achieving your life long goals and aspirations. As Ken Blanchard once said, people who feel good about themselves produce good results.