“I am a success.”
When is the last time you said — or thought — those words?
Within the last 7 days? The last 30 days? The last year?
I asked that question while speaking to a group of martial arts school owners last week and only about 10% of them said they had said or thought those four words within the last week.
Without a doubt they have more they want to accomplish — perhaps enrolling more students, increasing revenue, winning more tournaments, or reaching the next degree of mastery in their martial art of choice.
But at the same time, they have all achieved many of the goals that they once set for themselves — to earn their black belt, to open a school, to work full-time in their own business, to open a second location, and more.
Every person in that room was a success, but 90% of them didn’t celebrate their accomplishments on a regular basis.
How about you? YOU, too, are a success!
We’re always chasing that “next level,” though, and we don’t pause to celebrate how far we’ve already come.
Shawn Achor speaks about this in his book, The Happiness Advantage, and in his TED Talk on “The Happy Secret to Better Work”:
He points out that most of us subscribe to a backward formula for success which is this:
“If I work harder, I’ll be more successful. If I’m more successful, then I’ll be happier.”
Achor goes on to explain why the formula is flawed:
“Every time your brain has a success, you just change the goal post of what success looks like. You got a good job, now you have to get a better job. You hit your sales target, we’re going to change your sales target. And if happiness is on the opposite side of success, your brain never gets there. What we’ve done is we’ve pushed happiness over the cognitive horizon as a society.”
It’s more than our happiness that’s at stake, though. How would you like to increase your intelligence? Would you benefit from approaching your life and work with more creativity? Do you need more energy?
While studying the link between happiness and success, Achor discovered that, “If you can raise somebody’s level of positivity in the present, then their brain experiences what we now call a happiness advantage, which is your brain at positive performs significantly better than it does at negative, neutral or stressed. Your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise; actually what we’ve found is that every single business outcome improves” — including higher productivity, increased resilience and less burnout.
How can you become more positive in this present moment? Start by pausing right now to recognize how far you’ve come so far and how many obstacles you’ve overcome. Say, “I am a success” — and believe it, because you are. Now operate from that “place” of confidence and gratitude as the day goes on.
For more, check out Shawn’s brand new book, Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change, or enroll in one of his virtual courses (affiliate link).