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Happiness is a Direction
Not a Destination

A Revolutionary Idea

A new truth promises to revolutionize how you live and work: You’re entitled to be happy. Right now. You don’t have to wait. In fact, you shouldn’t delay.

The Secret

It’s a truth revealed by an ever-expanding body of scientific research. It’s a truth that exposes the secret to both individual and organizational success: happiness. Yes, happiness. It’s a revolutionary discovery that counters conventional wisdom. Happiness doesn’t depend on achieving certain arbitrary milestones like wealth or status or awards or job titles. In fact, the opposite is true. Happiness is an ongoing state of mind, a way of thinking necessary for sustained success.

It’s In Your Hands (Your Brain Really)

The idea is powerfully simple. Most successful people and organizations put happiness first, realizing that only then will success follow. But attaining true happiness isn’t quite so simple. First you, quite literally, must change your mind.

 

The good news: it’s all within your control. Cutting-edge neuroscientific research confirms that we all possess the ability to wire and rewire our brains for happiness.

Meet Dr. Jay Kumar

That’s the powerful—and empowering—idea behind our company. We share a variety of tools, techniques and insights for tapping this remarkable reservoir of human potential.

The Latest

Full open suitcase on tropical beach backgroundA very real phenomenon taking place in North America is “vacation aversion”. A study from Acadia University on people’s relationship with their work has found that the main reasons people aren’t taking all of their vacation days is because they don’t want to appear replaceable, they dread the pile of work awaiting them when they return, and they feel no one else can do what they do at the office. These people suffer from what the researchers called a “work martyr complex”, believing that they’re the only ones who can do their jobs. Compounding workers’ fear of taking time off is the perception, based on America’s work culture, that being away from work means we’re bad employees.

We’re not using our paid time off. In fact, we’re leaving 429 million days of time off unused each year, and it’s detrimental to our personal health, business productivity and the American economy. This unused leave costs the U.S. economy $160 billion in spending—$67 billion in direct travel spending—that could support 1.2 million jobs across industries.

It’s time for a cultural shift in how Americans view time off—not as frivolous, but essential to strengthening families and improving personal health, a business investment with proven returns and an economic necessity.  Companies that encourage their workers to take paid time off  have happier, healthier, and more productive employees.

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Multitasking businessmanWe are living in an age of unprecedented opportunity and temptation to multitask. While we may think that we are being more effective and efficient, the opposite is true. It has been scientifically demonstrated that when focused on a single task, the right and left sides of the prefrontal cortex area of the brain work together to coordinate messages with other brain systems. Studies suggest that when you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.  In addition, multitasking lowers your IQ, reduces brain density. Multitaskers are in fact, slower at switching from one task to another and  have more trouble organizing their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information. To improve productivity, slowing down and rediscovering the power to focus on one thing at a time may be the best thing you can do for your career and your brain!

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Smiling male chef with cooked food in kitchen “The road to success all begins  by changing the direction of your thoughts.”  (Click to Tweet) 

Over 100,00 employees participated in a study which had them review ten job factors, including “relationship with the boss and co-workers, work environment, job resources, compensation, growth opportunities, company culture, company reputation, daily tasks, and control over the work one does on a daily basis” to determine which jobs were ranked as happiest.  The results were quite surprising.  The top five “happiest” jobs all had these three elements in common.

 

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Unhappy at WorkA startling survey concludes that only 19% of Americans claim to be engaged at or happy with work.  The apparent factor attributing to workplace dissatisfaction is the cultural perception Americans have that the office isn’t a place for experiencing happiness, purpose and meaning.  In fact, many Americans hate their job and consider it to be a perfectly normal attitude.  Here’s one approach that brain science suggests can help you enjoy greater happiness in both work and life.

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Group of Diverse People Working in the Office“Happiness is that moment when you wake up and realize that work is joy in action.  (Click to Tweet)

Research demonstrates there is a relationship between happiness and workplace success. Happy people earn more money, display superior performance, and perform more helpful acts which typically exemplify success at work.  According to most studies of worker satisfaction among nations, the happiest employees in the world are in Denmark, followed by Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden.  But why are Danish workers so much happier than their American counterparts?   Americans think it’s normal to hate their jobs. Let us introduce you to the Danish concept of arbejdsglæde. It means happiness at work. Here’s how Danish offices make sure it’s happening.


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Happy Business People In MeetingHelping others is good for you! According to research from the Univ. of Wisconsin at Madsion, altruists in the office are more committed to their work and are less likely to quit their job. If that’s not good enough, the same research concludes that workplace altruists are happier than their fellow employees and find more meaning in both their personal and professional life. Now that’s a goal we all should be happy to work on!

You can read the full article here.

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CompassBeautiful and Inspirational graduation speech by Jim Carrey on the power of human thought and our ability to be the masterful pioneers of our own health and happiness! Brain research and positive psychology both reveal what the spiritual traditions have advocated for millennia—wealth, fame, and status are not the path toward finding completion. The true compass that points us in the direction of our self-worth and fulfillment resides within. I bet you’ll watch this video more than once! Enjoy and feel free to share.

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runningScientists have found a tiny region of the brain which controls our motivation to exercise and engage in other rewarding activities.  In laboratory studies on mice, when signals from this region of the brain were blocked, the mice became lethargic and uninterested in rewarding behavior.  These new findings point to a new “node in the depression pathway” and may help fine-tune our understanding of depression.

You can read the full article here.

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Photo credit: Lali Masriera via Flickr

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Quote of the Week

“No external conditions are required for happiness. Happiness is who you are!” —Dr. Jay Kumar