THE HAPPINESS ADVANTAGE
Most people want to be successful and happy. And when it comes to the pursuit of success and happiness, most have the same formula: if you work hard, you will become successful, and once you’re successful, you will be happy.
But according to New York best-selling author Shawn Achor, the problem is that a decade of cutting-edge research in the field of positive psychology has proven that this formula is backwards. Success does not beget happiness.
Achor did the most extensive study on happiness and human potential and says that happiness actually fuels success, not the other way around. Why? Because when we are happier and more positive, we are more engaged, creative, resilient to stress, and productive.
During a podcast Achor had with Oprah Winfrey, they talked about how pleasure isn’t the only thing that brings people happiness – how do you explain the joy felt during challenging moments, such as when your legs are burning halfway through a marathon or when you cradle your one-year-old in the middle of the night until she falls asleep?
Perhaps then the most accurate term for happiness is eudaimonia, which does not translate directly to ‘happiness’ but to ’human flourishing’. Because when we are happy – when our mindsets and mood are positive – we are more intelligent, more motivated and thus more successful. Happiness is the centre, and success revolves around it.
A few happy and powerful women are featured on our cover this month and in the powerful words of author Nakeia Homer, ‘Behind every strong woman is a story that gave her no other choice.’ A powerful woman accepts the war she went through and is ennobled by her scars.
Over the last 100 years, the role and rights of women have changed beyond all recognition. But one thing that has stayed constant is the sheer number of awe-inspiring women all over the world.
Inspiring women to lead by example. They help to create a thriving society where equality duly prevails. These women are going further, doing more, breaking through barriers, and giving others courage. Their lives and their work share their important message of female empowerment. They are working tirelessly for the greater good and creating history in their own right. These women play their part in reinventing our society, culture, and world.
Read their inspirational stories on page 13 and be motivated by how they pave their own paths while lifting others around them up and setting an excellent example for the next generation.
Editor: Accountancy SA