Sharing my masters thesis – Supporting business strategy through employee well-being: https://www.box.com/s/67e6c80b5d12c3f08e4b
Sharing my masters thesis – Supporting business strategy through employee well-being: https://www.box.com/s/67e6c80b5d12c3f08e4b
I am finishing Gretchen Rubin’s book “The Happiness Project” and have been intrigued by much of the content. Nearing then end, I have found a section entitled “EXAMINE TRUE RULES” (p. 240) which has hit a somewhat high point for me. I have always looked for ways to maximize effectiveness and efficiency and I have unknowingly crafted my “true rules” based on my bias to do more with less. I recognize that my values are also closely tied to these true rules and that they guide my every move.
Gretchen called these “true rules” as a way to remove the technical jargon - I appreciate this as we all need to understand what guides us. “True rules” are scientifically titled “heuristics” in the cognitive science world. These are mental rules of thumb… “the quick, common sense principles you apply to solve a problem or make a decision” (p.240). Rubin frames these well in reminding us that sometimes our cognitive instincts mislead us and we need to be aware of this. We often do not realize how we make decisions but they are inherently linked to our “true rules”. It is helpful to know what these are and perhaps by knowing them, we are able to remove some of the bias that might occur in our decision making.
Here are some of my true rules and I would love you to share some of yours:
What are yours?
Rubin, G. (2009). The happiness project. New York, NY. HaperCollins Publishers.
“But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?” – Albert Camus
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer
“The Grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” - Allan K. Chalmers
“Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others.” – Buddha
“There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.” – George Sand
“The greatest part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, not our circumstances.” – Martha Washington
“The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” – Benjamin Franklin
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi
“If the sight of the blue skies fill you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things in nature have a message you understand, Rejoice, for your soul is alive.” – Eleanora Duse
“Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne
“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” – Colette
“The best vitamin to be a happy person is B1. – Author unknown
“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. ” – Thomas Merton
“Happiness is a function of accepting what is.” – Werner Erhard
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. – Robert Brault
“If you ever find happiness by hunting for it, you will find it, as the old woman did you lost spectacles, safe on her own nose all the time.” – Josh Billings
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” – Buddha
“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
“Happiness is not a goal; it is a buy-product.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Jumping for joy is good exercise.” – Author unkown
“The bird of paradise alights only on the hand that does not grasp.” – John Berry
“Life is not always what one wants it to be, but to make the best of it as it is, is the only way of being happy.” – Jennie Jerome Churchill
“I am happy and content because I think I am.” – Alain-Rene Lesage
“Happiness leads none of us by the same route.” – Charles Caleb Colton
“There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness.” – Lady Marguerite Blessington
“Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.” – Robert Frost
“People say that what we’re seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.” – Joseph Campbell
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” – Rumi
“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness and the work happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.” Carl Jung
“Happiness is an inside job.” – William Arthur Ward
“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.” – Ayn Rand
“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your destiny.” – Albert Ellis
“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” – Dale Carnegie
“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” – Omar Khayyam
“Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars.” – Henry Van Dyke
“Family life is the source of the greatest human happiness.” – Robert J. Havighurst
“There is no cure for birth or death save to enjoy the interval.” – George Santayana
“The secret to happiness is happiness itself. Wherever we are, anytime, we have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine, the presence of each other, and the wonder of our breathing.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
In this great article http://gmj.gallup.com/content/150671/Happiness-Is-Love-and-75K.aspx?utm_source=email&utm_medium=122011&utm_content=morelink&utm_campaign=newsletter#1 by Jennifer Robison, we learn about the work of two researchers: Angus Deaton, Ph.D. and Daniel Kahneman, Ph.D. that puts $75,000 as the magic number in terms of happiness. It turns out that whether you earn $75,000 or $125,000 or more that you will have similar levels or happiness or emotional well-being. Both from Princeton University, these researchers have captured and analyzed data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index (GHWBI), and discovered that happiness is essentially a result of high emotional well-being and life evaluation.
Life evaluation refers to a longer view of life satisfaction than emotional well-being which focuses on everyday experience and is very strongly connected to how healthy our relationships are. Life evaluation is high when you set and reach realistic goals, you make that magic $75,000 and you feel emotionally fulfilled. After studying 450,000 responses from 2008 and 2009, these researchers found that 85% of americans are happy and that only the Scandinavian countries, Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and New Zealand rate higher life evaluation scores than the U.S. Being a Canadian myself, this was satisfying to see!
Humans adapt quickly to things that money can buy, which is one reason the researchers give for the $75,000 ceiling to higher happiness levels. Richer and higher experiences of happiness seem to come from our relationships. Having said that, people who are struggling financially struggle to reach happiness as a result. ”It is worse to be alone, it is worse to be divorced, it is worse to be unemployed, and it is worse to be sick if you’re poor, and you get less benefit from the things that create emotional well-being,” says Dr. Kahneman. “There are huge emotional costs to poverty.”
U.S. stress levels are fifth highest in the world. It would be interesting to see where Canada lies but I would guess it is high as well. What is also key to note is that the stress people feel as a result of poverty is quite different than the stress that the more affluent feel. Poverty stress is a result of constant deprivation without the weekend reprieve that richer people get. The rich feel high stress as a result of their success or possibly in the maintenance of their success. But they seem to like it.
The researchers also point to the fact that some of us are born “sunnier” and seem to have a more positive outlook on the world than others. These people will always achieve higher levels of happiness than their more “pessimistic or grumpy-by-nature” people. The important thing they stress in terms of reaching the highest levels of emotional well-being, is to ensure you have strong healthy relationships. That is where your investments will pay off.
The Emotional Intelligence Consortium is a great resource in regards to business case, EI metrics, reports, and recent research about the importance of the development of specific social competencies in the workplace. We spend a great deal of time at work and if we can achieve higher levels of self-awareness, optimism and empathy the evidence points to our ability to improve productivity, satisfaction and well-being at work.
EI Consortium Mission:
“The mission of the EI Consortium is to advance research and practice of emotional and social intelligence in organizations through the generation and exchange of knowledge. The Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations is currently made up of 8 core members and 69 additional members who are individuals with a strong record of accomplishment as applied researchers in the field. There also are six organizational and corporate members. The Consortium was founded in the spring of 1996 with the support of the Fetzer Institute. Its initial mandate was to study all that is known about emotional intelligence in the workplace.” ( http://www.eiconsortium.org/about_us.htm )
The new updated website of the Emotional Intelligence Consortium can be found at: http://www.eiconsortium.org/index.html
Points that I wanted to capture from Shawn Achor’s book: “The Happiness Advantage”:
Achor discovered that happiness is not just a mood – “it’s a work ethic” (p.50) and that although we each have a happiness baseline, we can raise it permanently if we are more purposeful about the way we pursue meaningful goals and opportunities that are all around us. He credits an optimistic and grateful framing of our world and the development of rich relationships as helping to raise the bar on our happiness baseline. Ways he suggested to capitalize on creating a happiness advantage were:
Organizations are seeing the benefits of using the happiness advantage as a tool to increase the success of their organizations:
Marcial Losada’s research shows that it takes about three positive comments, experiences, or expressions to fend off one negative and that ideally, this ratio should be 6-1 for teams to produce at their best (9).
1. Shapiro, S.L., Schwartz, G.E.R., & Santerre, C. (2005). Meditation and positive psychology. In Snyder, C.R., & Lopez, S.J. (Eds.), Handbook of Positive Psychology (pp. 632-645). New York: Oxford University Press.
2. (April 3, 2006). Just the expectation of a mirthful laughter experience boosts endorphins 27 percent, HGH, 87 percent. American Physiological Society. Retrieved at www.physorg.com/news63293074.html.
3. Post, S.G. (2005). Altruism, happiness, and health: It’s good to be good. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 12, 66-67; Schwartz et al. (2003). Altruistic social interest behaviours are associated with better mental health. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65, 778-785.
4. Keller, M.C., Fredrickson, B.L., et al. (2005). A warm heart and a clear head: The contingent effects of mood and weather on cognition. Psychological Science, 16, 724-731.
5. Gerber, G.L., Gross, et al. (1980). The “main-streaming” of America: Violence profile no. 11. Journal of Communication, 30, 10-29. As cited in Barbara Fredrickson’s Positivity, at 173.
6. Babyak, M., Blumenthal, J., Herman, S., Khatri, P., Doraiswamy, P., Moore, K., Craighead, W., Baldewicz, T., & Krishnan, K. (2000). Exercise treatment for major depression: Maintenance of therapeutic benefit at ten months. Psychosomatic Medicine, 62, 633-638.
7. Frank, R.H. (2000). Luxury Fever. New York: Princeton University Press.
8. Connelly, J. (2002). All together now. Gallup Management Journal, 2, 12-18.
9. Losada, M. (1999). The complex dynamics of high performance teams. Mathematical and Computer Modeling, 30, 179-192; Losada, M., & Heaphy, E. (2004). The role of positivity and connectivity in the performance of business teams: A nonlinear dynamics model. American Behavioural Scientist, 47(6), 740-765; Fredrickson, B.L., & Losada, M. (2005). Positive affect and the complex dynamics of human flourishing. American Psychologist, 60(7), 678-686. For more on Losada’s fascinating work and his collaboration with Barbara Fredrickson, see Fredrickson’s book Positivity, 120-138.
Shawn Achor wrote “The Happiness Advantage” and described seven principles as “specific, actionable, and proven patterns that predict success and achievement”(p.17).
Achor, S. (2010). The Happiness Advantage. The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work. New York, NY: Crown Business.
“The task of leadership is to find an alignment of strengths that makes the system’s weaknesses irrelevant” ~ Drucker.
“All things change when *WE* change.” ~ Kukei
“If you’re going through hell – keep going.” ~ Winston Churchill
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” ~ Jim Ryun
“We first make our habits, then our habits make us.” ~ John Dryden
“People are not your most important asset. The right people are.” ~ Jim Collins
“A leader will find it difficult to articulate a coherent vision unless it expresses his core values, his basic identity. One must first embark on the formidable journey of self-discovery in order to create a vision with authentic soul.” ~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” ~ Japanese Proverb
“When we see the need for deep change, we usually see it as something that needs to take place in someone else. In our roles of authority, such as parent, teacher, or boss, we are particularly quick to direct others to change. Such directives often fail, and we respond to the resistance by increasing our efforts. The power struggle that follows seldom results in change or brings about excellence. One of the most important insights about the need to bring about deep change in others has to do with where deep change actually starts.” ~ Robert E. Quinn
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~ Gandhi
“In this world the optimists have it, not because they are always right, but because they are positive. Even when wrong they are positive, and that is the way of achievement, correction, improvement and success. Educated, eyes-open optimism pays; pessimism can only offer the empty consolation of (sometimes) being right.” ~ David Landes
“To be truly radical is to make hope possible, rather than despair convincing.” ~ Raymond Williams
“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” ~ Martin Luther King
“We miss more by not seeing than by not knowing.” ~ Sir William Osler
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” ~ Lao Tzu
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” ~ Peter Drucker
“First, we must seek to understand. Then, to be understood.” ~ Stephen Covey
“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” ~ Derek Bok
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ~ Oscar Wilde
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~ Æsop
“When faced with constraints, change perspective.” ~ I. M. Pei
“The people who say it can’t be done should get out of the way of those who are doing it.” ~ Anonymous
“We do not find ourselves. We make ourselves and discover our best selves.” ~ Unknown
“It is on your own self-knowledge and experience that the knowledge of everything else depends.” ~ The Cloud of Unknowing, A spiritual guidebook believed to have been written in the 14th century by an English monk
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams
“Don’t die with the music still inside you.” ~ Lance Secretan
“Don’t go through life, grow through life.” ~ Eric Butterworth
“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” ~ Emerson
“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” ~ Mary Englebright
“Every morning I look in the mirror and ask myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” ~ Steve Jobbs
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” ~ Leo Tolstoy
I have just finished reading “The Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Achor. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in creating more happiness in their lives. Achor(2010) puts us all in the right place when he tells us that “happiness is the precursor to success, not merely the result”… and that “happiness and optimism actually fuel performance and achievement” (p.1). Through seven principles, he shows us how to capitalize on the happiness advantage.. he shows us how to cultivate our “positive” brain making us more “motivated, efficient, resilient, creative, and productive”(p.4).
Some of my key learnings included:
1. U.S. Job Satisfaction at lowest level in two decades. (January 5, 2010). The Conference Board.
2. Seligman, M.E.P. (2002). Authentic Happiness. New York: Free Press, at 117.
3. Lyubomirsky, S., King, L., & Diener, E. (2005). The benefit of frequent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success? Psychological Bulletin, 131, 803-855.
4. Peterson, C. (2006). A Primer in Positive Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press, at 79.
5. Fredrickson, B. (2009). Positivity. New York: Crown Publishers, at 39.
6. Diener, E., Nickerson, C., Lucas, R.E., & Sandvick, E. (2002). Dispositional affect and job outcomes. Social Indicators Research, 229-259.
7. Seligman, M.E.P. (2002). Authentic Happiness. New York: Free Press, at 4.
8. Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. (2008). As referenced in: Associated Press. (June 18, 2008). Poll: Unhappy workers take more sick days.
9. Fredrickson, B.L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2, 300-319; Fredrickson, B.L. (2001). The role of positive emotins in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56, 218-226.
10. Fredrickson, B.L., & Branigan, C. (20005). Positive emotions broaden the scope of attention and thought-action repertoires. Cognition and Emotion, 19, 313-332.
11. Gallagher, W. (2009). Rapt. New York: Penguin, at 36.
12. Bryan, T., & Bryan, J. (1991). Positive mood and math performance. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 24, 490-494.
13. Fredrickson, B.L., Mancuso, R.A., Branigan, C., & Tugade, M.M. (2000). the undoing effect of positive emotions, Motivation and Emotion. 24, 237-258.
I just bought the book “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. I haven’t read it yet but I did explore her site: http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/ and found magnificent quotes shared by others http://www.happinessprojecttoolbox.com/inspiration_boards.html?type=INSPIRATION&filter_cats=QUOTE. These are my favourite (I hope you enjoy them and please feel free to share others here too!):
Live a good life. In the end it is not the years that count, but the life in the years. – Abraham Lincoln
What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while. – G. Rubin
I am strong because I know my weaknesses. I am compassionate, because I have known suffering. I am alive, because I am a fighter. I am wise, because I have been foolish. An I can laugh, because I have known sadness. – Unknown
Habit is overcome by habit. – Thomas A. Kempis
Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen. – Anonymous
Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find hamony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. -Einstein
Do not give up, the beginning is always the hardest. -Unknown
Poetry is often the art of overhearing yourself say things you didn’t know you knew. It is a learned skill to force yourself to articulate your life, your present world or your possibilities for the the future. -David Whyte
When god closes a door, he opens a window. -Mother Superior, Sound of Music
When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we don’t see the one that has been opened for us. -Helen Keller
If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you. -A.A. Milne
You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body. -C.S. Lewis
It is never to late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. -Sri Ram
If you want to be happy, be. -Leo Tolstoy
Start where you are. Do what you can. Use what you have. -A.Ashe
Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Life isn’t about waiting for the storms to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain. -Unknown
You sometimes think you want to disappear, but all you really want is to be found. -Unknown
A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires. -Paulo Coelho
People think a soulmate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soulmate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. -Elizabeth Gilbert
Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate. So practice happy thinking everyday. Cultivate the merry heart, develop the happiness habit, and life with become a continual feast. -Norman Vincent Peale
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go. -Oscar Wilde
Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have. -Unknown
Life begins at the end of your comfort. -Unknown
I have been running so sweaty my whole life, urgent for a finish line, and I have been missing the rapture this whole time.
Of being forever incomplete – Alanis Morissette
Exercise for sanity, not vanity. -Gretchen Rubin
What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
The days are long but the years are short. -G. Rubin : watch the wonderful 1 minute video that goes with this quote: http://www.theyearsareshort.com/