From an early age, most of us are raised to believe that success equals happiness. We work hard to get good grades, finish school, and land that fantastic job. Then many of us find that we still are not happy, so we work hard again to climb the corporate ladder and get that promotion, in the hopes that as we become more successful we will also become happier.

However, does success really equal happiness? Author Shawn Achor believes that things should actually be reversed, instead of believing happiness comes from success, we should believe that success comes from happiness.

Nevertheless, of course, achieving happiness takes work. Most of us actually have to train our brains to think positively instead of negatively. Fortunately, there are activities and exercises we can do every day to help achieve more happiness in our lives, and achieve more success.

  • Start every day with a positive thought. Instead of beginning your day lying in bed silently swearing at the alarm clock, think to yourself that something good is going to happen today. Then spend the day looking for it. You will be surprised at how many good things you will notice throughout your day.
  • Write down three things that you are grateful for every day. Purchase a journal, or use a notebook, word document, or even an online journal, and write down three new things that you are grateful for each day. Research has proven that this helps to improve optimism and helps to raise success rates.
  • Journal for two minutes a day describing something positive that has happened to you in the past day. You do not have to write much; simply take two minutes out of your busy day. This helps you to transform from a task-based thinker to a meaning based thinker, or someone who looks for a meaning to something rather than it simply being something you have to do. This approach can dramatically increase happiness at work.
  • Exercise for a few minutes every day. Even if it is only for ten minutes, a short work out will help to train your brain that your behavior matters. Exercise also gives you energy and a general sense of well-being, which will increase your happiness and success throughout the day.
  • Mediate for a few minutes daily. Spend a couple of minutes every day focusing on your breathing. This will help to undo the negative effects of multitasking, and help decrease stress and anxiety. Additionally, research has shown that most people get things done more quickly if they focus on one task at a time rather than multitask.
  • Perform a small, random act of kindness every day. Simply spend a few moments, preferably in the morning writing a quick email praising or thanking a co-worker. This increases your feeling of social support, which is one of the largest predictors of happiness.

When you follow these steps, you are training your brain that you do not have to be successful to be happy. In fact, you are reversing the formula and are proving that you can turn happiness into success. If everything seems a bit overwhelming, begin with one of these habits and build them up slowly until they all become second nature to you.

Author's Bio: 

CEO, UQ Power and International Company Culture Coach, Heidi Alexandra Pollard says her team are red hot, refreshing renegades, hunting down boring brands, stuck in a sea of sameness and charging them to power up their people, their presence and their profits. Their mission is to help elevate the global playing field for small to mid-sized companies through their unique brand and culture strategies that are easy on the finances, easy to implement and easy to sustain.