Human psychology has always intrigued me. What is it that makes us buy, sell, believe, not believe, act, not act, love, hate, endure, or give up. It’s interesting to understand the motivation behind our choices, whether consciously, sub-consciously or unconsciously. How can one person be happy without their basic needs being met and another is not happy even with a fat savings account? Why and how are some folks richer, healthier, and more successful than their equally gifted counterparts?
The field of positive psychology provides substantial evidence that happiness brings us highly desirable life benefits, such as longer life, successful relationships, and more. So, there you go, it’s simple – be happy.
Happiness is the Magic Pill
There’s an old adage that it takes 43 muscles to frown and only 17 to smile, so smile and be happy. Cheesy? Absolutely. Convincing? Not really. In fact, I discovered that it takes almost the same number of muscles to smile or frown. So, smiling is really a matter of making the choice to smile. Don’t just smile because it takes less effort. It doesn’t. Instead, choose to be genuinely happy and you will attract whatever it is you’re after. Here are a few more tidbits I found:
- A Mayo Clinic study found that optimists (a characteristic of happy people) live longer than pessimists.
- A 1990s study of 141 senior class photographs from the 1960 yearbook of Mills College examined the nature of smiles in the photos: genuine smiles, the so-called Duchenne smile, versus a forced photo-smile. Researchers found that genuine smilers were more likely to be married, to stay married, and to experience more personal well-being.
- Studies indicate happier people have less depression, less suicide, and less paranoia than unhappy people, as well as greater self control and coping skills.
But, how do I “be happy”?
Easy! By breaking out of the 9 -to-5 jail. Seriously, being your own boss is the secret to happiness, according to a survey of more than 900 US micro-businesses (businesses with between 1-10 employees). VistaPrint, a leading online provider of professional marketing products and services, launched its Small Business Happiness Index in May 2011, a quarterly survey designed to track the pulse of small, micro businesses across the country. The index gauges the sentiments of small business owners and specifically examines their thoughts on pursuing their own ventures, as opposed to working for someone else.
The results of this first ever Small Business Happiness Index survey showed that 77 percent are feeling happy about working for themselves and the decision to run their own business, despite the sluggish economy. More than 42 percent described themselves as “very happy” when asked how they felt about running their business and working for themselves. Another 35 percent indicated they were “extremely happy” and wouldn’t even consider working for someone else in the near future.
So, are you ready to be happy?
This article is reprinted with permission by The Young Entrepreneur's Council (Y.E.C.), which provides
its members with access to tools, mentoring, community and educational
resources that support each stage of their business’s development and
growth. Y.E.C. promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to
youth unemployment and underemployment.