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.


Motivation Keys

Motivation Keys


Making Your Motivation Stick

Every one of us has goals. The question is do we have the motivation to make them stick? Incorporate these six keys into your life and you’ll create motivation superglue!



Everyone has dreams and wishes for their future. The thing that wakes dreams up out of their stupor is ambition. No matter how hard you dream or visualize that future you say you want, you’re going to need to fuel your days with ambition. That ambition pushes you to create goals, to go out and meet people, to learn more. It makes you see where the holes in your experience lie and fill them.



Hoping for success is passive. Expecting success is aggressive. If you wait around passively hoping for the best, then if the best ever decides to show up it won’t be any time soon. If however you expect success at every corner, then you are actively going to get yourself out onto those corners to search for it!




In order to get where you need to go, you need to know where you’re going. Focus gives you the ability to stay the course. By focusing on daily, weekly, monthly goals you set on the way to your achievement you are far less likely to stray from your objectives than someone without focus.




No matter how much ambition you have and focus and expectancy, if you don’t put in the effort you will never achieve your objectives. Effort is the ability to do what needs doing everyday, no matter how you feel about it. It’s the ability to ignore the whispering invitations in your head to rest today and work a little harder tomorrow. The great thing about effort, is it feeds on itself. The more effort you put in today, the more effort you’ll want to put in tomorrow.



Everyone had bad days. Days that are a succession of things gone wrong. Sometimes those days can stretch out into weeks when you’re working toward a goal and things consistently don’t work out your way. The attitude you have towards those days and your ultimate goal is going to determine whether you’re able to forge ahead or whether you decide to slow down, or worse stop striving altogether.


The best thing about attitude is it’s completely within your control. (That might also be the worst thing about attitude!) No matter what is happening on the outside, you have the ability to re-frame it and see the possible positives. You certainly don’t have control over what happens to you. You do have control over how you react to it.




You may not realize just how much of an impact your environment has on your attitude and your focus, but environment can set you up for success or keep you rooted in an unmotivated spot. Your environment means the way you set up your desk, whether you keep it cluttered or clean. It also includes the people you associate with. Attitude is contagious. If you want to stay motivated, surround yourself with motivated people!

Raise Time?

Raise Time?


No one likes to talk about money. Conversations about money have a tendency to get awkward and can often lead to arguments. This is true in our daily life and our work life. But at some point, money needs to be talked about. At some point, you’re going to want to make more cash. Asking for a raise can be one of the more nerve wracking things you have to do at work. To give you the confidence you need to ask for a bump in pay, we’ve put together some helpful advice on when and how to ask for a raise.


When to Ask for a raise

One of the most common questions about asking for a raise is when to do it. If you’re new to a job, how long should you wait before bringing it up?


The most common benchmark is the one year mark. By then you’re firmly established in your position and your manager can assess how far you’ve come and how your contributions have affected the company.


This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but something to be mindful of. Think you deserve a pay increase before that one year mark has passed? You better have some good reasons why.

The other thing to keep in mind when it comes to when you should ask for a raise is how the company, and your position with company, are doing.


Is the company growing? Did it just land a huge client or post great earnings? This would be an ideal time to ask for a pay increase. Did a number of other employees just get let go? Is the company asking you to bring your own coffee to work to save on costs? Maybe wait a little while before you ask about getting more money.


How to Ask for a Raise

Knowing how to ask for a raise is as important as knowing when to ask for one. To start off with, have a sit down with your boss. Asking for a raise isn’t a conversation to have near the water-cooler.


Depending on the situation, you might be tempted to start with a complaint about how you haven’t had a raise recently or that you’re making less than others in comparable positions. Opening with a complaint, or complaining in general is going to do one thing; kill your manager’s interest in the conversation.


Focus on the work you’ve done for the company, the growth you’ve helped achieve and the ways in which your role with the company has developed. A raise, like any business, is all about the numbers. If you can show that you’ve helped those numbers grow you have a much better chance at getting the raise.


An Offer Too Good to Refuse

The best thing you can do to ensure you get the outcome you want is research. Research what others in your position are making. Getraised.com, Salary.com and Glassdoor.com are all great places to look. Knowing what others are making gives you an idea of how much you can ask for.


Also be sure to make an “I’m Awesome” folder. Keep track of your accolades and present them in your meeting. As Matt Wilson writes in The Globe and Mail “If you can go to your boss and say that you are responsible for huge numbers and possess knowledge that is irreplaceable to the operations of the business then your boss will be forced to pay you to keep you happy!”


Getting the Raise
Asking for a raise starts long before you sit down to talk about it with your boss. It starts with research into other positions like yours. It continues as you build up a case for yourself stockpiling your accomplishments and abilities. Getting the outcome you want is helped by asking at the right time. Getting a raise is all but guaranteed when you are able to make an offer too good to refuse.

Yes, You Can Fly

Yes, You Can Fly


Keeping Your Confidence

The job search can sometimes be a demoralizing thing. Sometimes despite your best efforts to sell yourself on your resume and cover letter, those documents end up feeling kind of fake. A lot of people find self promotion hard because they don’t usually talk about themselves in such positive ways. Then if they don’t get any response from the applications they send out, they start taking it personally.  Keeping your confidence and feeling good enough can be tough.


Don’t Doubt Yourself

Even though you’re likely to face rejection at some point during your job search, the most important thing is to not let it affect how you feel about yourself. As this quote from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan suggests, the moment you doubt your abilities, is the moment they start to fail you.

It can be hard to believe in yourself when it seems like the world doesn’t believe in you. Jobs don’t pan out for a hundred different reasons. You need to remember that you absolutely have what it takes and try again.

Also remember there are lots of other job seekers out there who are trying to keep their confidence as well. You’re not alone in the job hunt despite how it sometimes feels.


You Can Fly

Does telling yourself you can fly seem pretty out there? If it does then figure out why.  Are your resume and cover letter up to par? Are your skills at their peak? Increase your confidence by ensuring you truly are ready to fly.

Then take off

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.