Friday, March 25, 2011

Choose Happy: That's Better!

"...Every person has a range of potential — in terms of intelligence, athletic ability, musicality, creativity, and productivity — and we are more likely to achieve the upper bounds of our brain's potential when we're feeling positive, rather than negative or neutral."

I ran across an article entitled Are Happy People Dumb? and found it to be very enlightening! I've always been interested in this topic, though my postulates have focused less around one's intelligence and more around their relative fiscal standing, but have never been able to experiment on the subject. In fact, my original research topic when I was preparing for my research study in Uganda was just that: Are they a happier people than Americans are? In needed a lot of refining and was definitely too large an undertaking for either my research mentors or I to take on at the time, but I am definitely still interested in the answer and the explanations therefore.

Over the years, however, I've continually heard that happiness is often a choice. Now, I don't know about you, but there are very few times where I have been put in a bad spot and have chosen to be happy. I kind of like to be angered when I'm wronged, seek a little revenge when I'm exploited or feel anguish when I'm hurt. I used to teach high school health, and when we came to Emotional Health, it's important to feel all of those things and to get them out, as well. But the key there is to get them out. We're not functioning at our greatest when our spirits are depressed, when we're distracted by frustration or when our outlook is just grim. The study even found that we reach greater potentials when we're happy! How cool is that!?

"A meta-analysis of employees at companies reveals that nearly every single business outcome improves when a brain is positive. Happiness is a significant advantage. In fact, happiness is the single greatest competitive advantage in the modern economy. Only 25% of your job successes are predicted based upon intelligence and technical skills, though we spend most of our education and most companies hire based upon this category. The "silent 75%" of long-term job success is based upon your ability to positively adapt to the world: optimism, social support creation, and viewing stress as a challenge instead of as a threat"

With how bottom-line oriented and seemingly cutthroat our society seems today with people constantly putting others down and being on the defensive, it's such an uplifting note to hear that there are still people out there trying to spread the emotion of 'happy'. The article closes with a list and video with recommendations for how to make yourself happy, and I definitely recommend The checking them out. The video is especially great though and has a lot of very cool information. So go do something to make yourself happy; after all, like Steven Covey says, you've got to sharpen the saw! :)

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