Research demonstrates that when we experience joy in our work, we are more intelligent, driven, and competitive – thus making us far more successful. While we all have an understanding of the advantages satisfaction can bring to our lives in terms of relationships and health, few comprehend that it has a direct bearing on one’s salary… significantly.
The Relationship Between Success and Happiness
Success and happiness were once believed to come at the expense of our well-being. The popular phrase, “keep your nose to the grindstone,” suggests that working harder is more important than taking care of ourselves.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, happiness is a key ingredient to success in your career. Psychology and neuroscience research has shown that optimism boosts performance and achievement–both of which lead to more money.
In other words, happiness is not a stroke of luck that will happen to you at some point down the road. If you think like that, it will damage your chances of success and stop you from enjoying life as much as you could.
Dopamine, Serotonin, and the Brain’s Reaction
There have been countless studies showcasing how much better our brains perform when we maintain a positive outlook. For example, whenever we feel optimistic about what lies ahead of us, dopamine and serotonin are released into our brains.
Dopamine and serotonin not only make us feel good, but they also help us process new information quickly and become better at solving complex problems.
Having a clear head allows you to be fully engaged. On the other hand, worrying too much about your problems uses up most of your attention, leaving you tired and less likely to perform well. It’s no surprise that low-performing employees generally don’t make a lot of money.
Consider the following:
- A study recently conducted at the University of Toronto found that our mood can change how we see. When pictures with multiple images were shown, those in negative moods could not process as much as those who had positive emotions. Positive emotions expand our peripheral line of vision.
- People given the chance to think about their happiest day before taking a test did better than those who were not.
Exercises for the Mind and Body
An individual who controls their thoughts can maintain control over their happiness and, as a result, career potential. It’s easier said than done (habitually thinking positively takes significant practice), but below are three exercises that could begin making a difference today.
- If you think of your brain as a computer disk with only a finite amount of space, it is easy to see how quickly that space can fill up when considering your surroundings, internal dialogue, other people in the room, and your desired task all at once.
When you allow your mind to fill up with negative self-doubt, you are wasting valuable space that could be used for more important things, like rationally evaluating information and making decisions.
- Always remember to live in the present and work towards creating your ideal future. That way, you can focus on what you believe in and leave the past behind.
- Taking care of your physical health is essential to success. Eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and meditate when you need to calm your mind. Scientists have found that monks who spend years meditating grow their left prefrontal cortex.
Happiness isn’t simply a good feeling–it’s also key to our success. When we allow our brains to feel positive, heightened creativity, resilience, and intellectual capacity will quickly follow.
Making more money should be one of your top priorities if you want happiness in your life. Place all of your energy into achieving this goal and do whatever it takes to make it happen.
This article was featured on Personal Branding Blog.