Feel Good, Do Good: The Happiest Way to Increase Your Career Success

Here’s some solid career development advice that’s perfect for summertime.

Studies show that a huge predictor of your career success is… your happiness.

That’s right, there’s reams of data-driven evidence that our personal happiness and the positivity of the culture that surrounds us has very real influence over our performance.

When you feel better, you do better.

People who feel good, do good.

These aren’t just feel-good platitudes. They’re borne out by research.

Here are a couple stunning metrics:

Only 10% of your overall happiness is predicted by your external circumstances.

90% is a function of the way your brain processes the world.

(And which of these two—external circumstances or how you view them—is most directly under your control?)

The conclusion is that “the lens through which your brain views the world shapes your reality.” For example, only 25% of job success is predicted by IQ. 75% is predicted by optimism, social support, and the ability to see stress as a challenge, not a threat.

It’s called “the happiness advantage,” and it has a very real, measurable effect on success and performance:

  • Your brain in a positive state performs 31% better than it does in a negative, neutral, or stressed state.
  • Salespeople perform 37% better at positive.
  • Doctors at positive are 19% faster and more accurate and identifying a correct diagnosis.

These studies have major implications for how we motivate ourselves and the people around us.

To learn more about the fascinating data on the effect of happiness on success, check out Shawn Achor and this article from Forbes.

What are you doing this summer to increase the positive for you and the people around you?