Happiness First, Success Second

Happiness First, Success Second

So many of us are working all out to create the success we’re after. In the process we’re also creating stress for ourselves, setting crazy goals, and admonishing ourselves for our perceived failures. All because we believe that once we’re successful we will also finally be happy.

In the inspiring Ted Talk, The Happy Secret To Better Work, psychologist Shawn Archer argues we’ve got it all backwards. We need to start with happiness. Increased productivity and success will follow.

Shawn doesn’t just talk about trying to be happier, he gives concrete examples of ways each of us can retrain our brains to create happier brains.

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Habit Hacks

habit hacks

 

Habits. We’ve all got bad ones and want new ones. Weather you want to stop chewing your nails or sleeping till noon, or you want to start jogging in the morning or making time for ten minutes of meditation, habits are pretty important. Lets take a look at what habits are and how we can make or break them.

 

Habits are not created in a day

You’ve probably read that it only takes twenty one days to make or break a habit. If it was that simple, we’d all be shiny, walking, talking, doing, examples of our ideal selves. Unfortunately the twenty one day thing is false.

 

Habits take different times to form for different people. The time it takes to form a habit also depends on the difficulty of what you’re setting out to do. Are you trying to write 10 pages of your novel every day, or read a chapter of a book?

 

It will be easier to get into the habit of reading a chapter of a book every night than writing ten pages because it is an easier, less time consuming thing to do. Both are equally do-able. It’s just that one takes more energy and dedication than the other.

 

It’s possible the twenty one day rule would work for some daily reading but it won’t solidify heavy duty tasks like putting in an hour at the gym or parking yourself long enough to write ten pages a day.

 

Two to eight months

Studies have that it usually takes anywhere between two and eight whole months for new, full habits to form.

 

That might be kind of hard to swallow, but it should also be a bit of a relief. A lot of people get to that twenty one day mark and feel like failures for not coasting automatically with their shiny new habit after that – not realizing the timeline was unrealistic.

 

Small changes

Forming habits is all about little changes that build up over time if you keep at it. If your new habit formed quickly and easily, it probably doesn’t have much staying power. Most things that take twenty one days kind of fizzle pretty fast.

 

The moral of the story is, if you’re trying to improve yourself, don’t be discouraged if you don’t have miraculous new habits in less than a month. Keep working at it. There’s no magic number of days when you’ll have a new habit, but at one point you will realize, you’re automatically doing that thing you wanted to be doing because you’ve formed a new habit.

You can congratulate yourself then.

Interview Killers

interview killers

 

Dressing professionally, researching the company you’re interviewing with, preparing answers to tough questions in advance are all things that are going to set you in a good light with your interviewer. Here are things that will put you in the dark.

 

A ringing phone

Before the interview starts make sure you set your phone and other devices to silent. Nothing screams unprofessional and unprepared like a ringing phone or beeping device during an interview. The only thing you want to hear are questions and answers between you and your interviewer.

 

Complaining about past employers or companies

Even if you had the worst boss in the history of worst bosses in your last job, the interview is no place to discuss it. You can say the philosophy or environment was not in keeping with what you were looking for and leave it at that. Remember any negative thing you say will only reflect negatively on you.

 

Exaggerated or made up answers

If you don’t know the answer to a question say so. Make it clear that you are willing to follow up and learn more about the topic if necessary. Absolutely do not bend the truth or make up a story on the spot. Untruths or distorted truths always return to haunt you and the world is small enough that they will haunt you in places you don’t expect in the future.

 

Um, don’t um

We all fill our speech with ums, and you knows and obviouslies, but they are distracting, especially during an interview. Practice answering questions out loud before you ever step through the interviewer’s door. Be confident with yourself and your abilities and watch for those ums and stop them at the gate.

 

No follow-up

Whether you send a follow up message to the interviewer or not, you can be sure the majority of other candidates did. Remember to ask for an email where you can send a thank you note and then send it promptly. Mention specific things you discussed during the interview. Give them even more reasons to remember you and want too see you again.

When It’s Your Job To Eat A Frog

Mark Twain 2

 

Everyday we wake up with things that must get done, things we want to get done and things we wish we could get done. What is the most important thing you want to get done today?

 

When do you plan on doing it? After your coffee? After you’ve finished checking all your emails? After you clear through some stuff left over from yesterday?

 

If something must get done, then get it done. First. Don’t fret over it. Don’t put it off until later. Get it off your plate first thing.

 

By doing the most important thing on your to-do list first thing you know that everyday you have accomplished at least one thing you want to accomplish. By starting the day off right, you’ll put yourself in the groove to keep on doing right!

How Do You Define Yourself?

How Do You Define Yourself?

When you think of Emma Watson what’s the first thing you think of?

Hermione Granger from Harry Potter?

Beauty from Beauty and the Beast?

What else are you?

What about as a U.N. Women’s Global Goodwill Ambassador? That’s not another role in an upcoming movie. Promoting education for girls worldwide is a role Emma Watson has taken on as part of her life.

For some people the glitz and glam of Hollywood stardom is the ultimate end goal. For Emma Watson it was simply one of her goals. She is not just a movie star, she is a person concerned with the rights of people, especially women the world over and in 2015 she was ranked 26th on TIME’s list of the Most Influential People.

What else could you be?

Are you happy with your current situation? Do you ever think you could do more with your life? Do you have dreams or ambitions sitting on the backburner? What we are is not the definition of what we can be.

Listen to Emma Watson talk about what’s in her heart and be inspired.

Are You Burned Out?

When you take time off do you really take time off or do you open the door to emails and calls and everything else that keeps you from fully relaxing?

By finding time and space away from work you’ll keep yourself from betting burned out and you’ll be better at work!