The Happiness Advantage

The Happiness Advantage

Healthy small business owners find ways to keep themselves motivated.


Mine is walking in circles around my home office.


It’s actually a half-mile loop of paved sidewalk around a patch of open land, but my neighbors after all these years still get a laugh that I walk the same route several times in a row, round and round the same block.


What I’m actually doing is meditating: Clearing my head, tuning-out, drowning my ears in good tunes, re-centering. Anytime I struggle to focus I’ll make a few loops around the block.  Quirky it may be, but I always come back refreshed, clear-minded, and ready to conquer whatever lay ahead. And, I dare say… happy.


Imagine my pleasure then when I heard Sean Achor’s entertaining TED talk on the link between happiness and productivity. (It’s definitely worth your 18 minutes to watch.)


Most of us have long had the idea that hard work breeds success, and success equals happiness. The harder we work, the happier we’ll be.
Happiness inspires productivity.
Running a business is hard work of course, but Achor argues that when it comes to productivity and happiness, we have it backwards.


He says we’re more productive when we start our work with a positive and happy mindset, and proposes a series of gratitude exercises over 21 days to re-train your brain towards positivity. I’ve actually asked a few of my clients to do before we get into serious (and seriously fun) brainstorming, and found it helpful for stretching mental muscles. Optimist or no, these are also great ways to recharge when you hit a midday sinker.

How to jump-start a positive mindset:

      • Every day, write down 3 things you’re thankful for
      • Exercise (just 30 min)
      • Meditate
      • Do a random act of kindness


Ahh, don’t you feel better already?
  1. My good friend Jon blogged on this recently: Great minds… : )

  2. Thanks for the shout-out, Diana! I think your “happiness circuit” is one that bears emulating.

    In a similar vein, I recently discovered Peter Bregman on his Harvard Business Review blog. He describes how one might move from a “kick the dog” reaction to cultivating good vibes to those around us: “Who Are You Really Mad At?”(July 23).

  3. Mmm, good vibes. Thanks for sharing!

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