This simple trick is all you need to do to become successful

Published: February 15, 2016
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Stanford researcher claims we're delaying happiness in the pursuit of success.

Stanford researcher claims we're delaying happiness in the pursuit of success.

In one form or another we have all wondered that the key to success really is and while it may seem that the answer will be tough, a Stanford researcher has proven otherwise.

Emma Seppala, Stanford researcher and author of the book The Happiness Track has penned her experience of achieving success and it couldn’t be simpler.

“After working in many high-achieving environments… I noticed too many people pursuing ‘success’ at a cost to themselves,” she wrote. “They were postponing their happiness now in pursuit of success… with the idea that, when they attain success, they will be happy. Yet they were burning themselves (and others) out in the process.”

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Award-winning public speaker shares key to success

Seppala explained how we postpone our happiness in the pursuit of success and why that isn’t necessary. According to her, by paying attention to our own happiness now, we will actually become more productive and creative thus accelerating our success.

“When I looked at the research,” she wrote, “I saw that –overwhelmingly — happiness is actually the secret to success. If you prioritize your happiness, you will actually be more productive, more creative, more resilient, more energized, more charismatic and influential. You will have more willpower and be more focused, with less effort.”

Seppala is not alone in her theory. Harvard researcher and author of The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor argues that happiness brings us more success as well.

The burning question is: How do I become happy now?

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Seppala’s answer is simple: Be nice to yourself. Treat yourself with the same level of kindness and compassion you would treat a friend.

According to Seppala, research has “shown the immense power of self-compassion and compassion not only for our personal well-being but for our work life,” she wrote. “Self-criticism is basically self-sabotage whereas self-compassion — treating yourself with the understanding, mindfulness, and kindness with which you would treat a friend — leads to far greater resilience, productivity, and well-being.”

Here is what makes some people happier than others

Seppala suggests some tips that will lead to a higher level of self-compassion, and inevitably, happiness:

1) Notice the way you speak to yourself. If you make a mistake, don’t be hard on yourself. Instead, acknowledge the moment of absentmindedness, and tell yourself it is okay.

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2) Write yourself a letter. While this may feel strange at first, writing yourself a letter when you’re feeling overwhelmed, will help you keep things in perspective. Write the letter in a way as you would write to a friend.

3) Develop a phrase which exhibits self-compassion. Dr Kristin Neff, a self-compassion researcher, uses this: “This is a moment of suffering. Suffering is part of life. May I be kind to myself in this moment; may I give myself the compassion I need.”

4) Make a gratitude list daily. Note five things you’re grateful for every day, making it easier to focus on the positive.

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Reader Comments (1)

  • Feb 16, 2016 - 8:55PM

    The title is misleading because if someone has negative beliefs about themselves, just deciding to be nicer won’t make them suddenly like themself more. What you think about yourself (your self-esteem and self-worth) is largely due to your habits of thought–far more than it has to do with your accomplishments. Habits of thought can be changed so that your initial reaction to your role in any situation is kinder, more loving, and less disparaging, but the underlying beliefs must be changed. Otherwise you will always revert to the old habits of thought when you’re not being vigiliant about being nicer to yourself.

    How do you know if you have negative beliefs about yourself? How do you speak to yourself? Are you kind and supportive? When you look in the mirror, do you see your beauty or do you immediately look for flaws? Are you confident or timid when meeting new people–especially one’s you perceive as of higher status than yourself?

    You have to change your beliefs about yourself if you want the behavior toward yourself to flow naturally and effortlessly.

    Being happy first matters. Happiness leads to success. Recommend

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