I graduated from a similar schoolI was also part of a similar leadership program only not near the quality andopportunity.
I helped build a digital advertising agency, iProspect (red circle) that was sold to a brand that is owned by Aegis. Aegis is being bought by Dentsuwhich will make us the 4th largest agency in the world.My new role is starting a company called Reinvention where we help all the brands get better at offering Social and Mobile solutions to their clients.
1st question: Would you consider yourself successful if:You earned $10 million per year. On average these people are 65 years old, they are one one thousandth of 1 percent of Americans. As a comparison – the top 1% of Americans make an average of $380kSo what would you be willing to sacrifice to get there? More hours working? A lot more hours working. Time with your friends and family. Hours on an airplane. Gone 3 to 4 weeks per month.So you make all these sacrifices, and then you could be?
… and then you could be happy!So how much happier would you be?Well, a study done by Ed Diener and Associates, shows you would be “Slightly Happier than the average person”. As a matter of fact – that is an average, a little less than half of the respondents in the study were less happy and a little more than half were more happy. So on average they were slightly happier. But the real conclusion is the success didn’t guarantee happiness. It helped, but happiness was more influenced by other factors.
The conclusions of the research and the message of many books written on the subject, is that most people have it backwards. As a society we believe that if we are successful, then we will be happy. The problem is we suffer from the “over the horizon” syndrome. Happiness is always over the horizon. It will always come after we accomplish that next level of success. We think we will reached the point we will be happy if we can just get through this class, or graduate college, or get that job, or that next promotion, or that VP title, or that big salary. Every time we reach one of these milestones, we feel a temporary sense of pleasure, that usually lasts about 90 days. Then we are looking to the next big thing. So we are always going to be happy, once we get to that point of success, but we never get there. Happiness is always at the end of the Rainbow.So we need to switch our thinking. Success doesn’t lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.
So let’s talk about Happiness and Success and how the are connected.
Happiness and Success have identifiable steps and habits. Those steps and habits are connected and reinforce each other. Thousands of books and articles have been written about Success or Happiness, and they all mention similar habits and steps. They may categorize them differently, but they same things get mentioned over and over again. They are all connected. So what we want to do today, is pull it all together in a simple format and give you some clear steps on how to become happier and how to become more successful.
This is a visual representation of how much information we have. We could spend a week working on this.This is how much time we have!So bare with me and I will share as much as I can in the limited time we have and then give you some homework and resources so you can dig deeper and build a program that works for you.
Our first phase is understanding that Pleasure and Happiness are different. Pleasure is an activity that is outside of us. Happiness is how we think about our lives and what happens to us and is inside our heads. We can choose to be happy.
Two more experts help clarify the difference between Pleasure and Happiness.
So why do we need to know the difference between Pleasure and Happiness? Why is it important?Because pleasure connects you to and is part of your happiness.
Because pleasure connects you to happiness and is part of your happiness….Until it becomes too much.
Pleasure disconnects from Happiness when it is illegal, unethical, or immoral. If you go to jail or even if you are just worried you might go to jail, it is going to have a negative impact on your happiness. Since happiness is a state of mind, a sub-conscious nagging about what you have done wrong will impact that happiness.Pleasure disconnects from happiness when you over-indulge. This is the most common challenge. We eat too much, drink too much, play too many video games etc. Those choices take away from good choices we should be making and interfere with our happiness. The negative results bother us, but the most impact comes from how we feel about ourselves. Pleasure disconnects from happiness when your focus on pleasure requires you to exclude happiness activities. This is most visible in the business world where we choose to work instead of building relationships. A very important part of happiness we will talk about in a few minutes. It could also happen in reverse where we are so focused on a relationship we fail to go to work or class or do our homework.
One more important difference between pleasure and happiness. Pleasure, by definition is only positive, when it is negative we call it pain. Happiness includes the full spectrum of our emotions. It is not about always being happy and jubilant. It is about being happy more than sad and being confident that when bad things happen, we will be able to get through them and find more happy times.
Ok time for our activities and homework. I only allocated a few minutes so you can get these activities started. Then you can finish them at home. Everyone should have a packet with the Happiness and Success Wheel on the front page. It includes a summary of the slides as well as the activities.Every page has a huge page number on the bottom right corner. We are currently on the bottom of Page 2.So for this activity make a list of your favorite pleasures. Are they connected or disconnected from happiness? Listen to your gut. It will tell the answer.So what should you do? Stop drinking. Drink more, or just drink more responsibly. Finally what action could you take to manage these pleasures and make sure the get or stay connected to happiness.As you can see in our example: Drinking is a pleasure that is disconnected from happiness. So we want to moderate by getting help from a friend. Ok. Write a few of your own.Pause for 1 minute to let them write.So you can finish the table at home. Your daily work is to keep this activity top of mind. We all have pleasures that are de-railing our happiness. Let’s identify them and get help working on them.
Sonja Lyubomirsky’s research showed that as 50% of our happiness level is what we are born with . Some people are just more ebullient than others. Only 10% of our happiness comes from who we are married to, where we live, our circumstances etc. The other 40% is completely in our control and is based on our attitude about what happens to us.
So our second phase of happiness is Taking Control of our lives. How do we manage that 40% we have control of? How do we feel like we have Autonomy. How do we feel like we our life is moving along the path that we chose?
In order to be happy, we want to be sure we are pedaling and steering down the road to happiness……and that we are not just along for the ride.
Langer and Rodin did a study with Seniors in a Senior Care Center.On floor was given autonomy. They got to choose when they eat, what music they listen to and which plant they wanted. They were also allowed to choose where to put the plant and how to take care of it.The floor below them was given a plant, but they did not get to make any of the other choices. The result was that the top floor, with the choices was happier and healthier. But they also found that they lived 50% longer. Luckily this study was done in the 70’s and the senior care industry has adopted many of the autonomy practices shown in the study.
Another aspect of Taking control of your life is know what you can control and what you can’t control. We often feel helpless when the weather ruins our plans. But once we are clear that the weather is out of our control, we become calmer and more relaxed. Instead of asking why? We can ask, what do we do next?People are another great example of something we can’t control. We can only control what we do. Believe it or not, we can’t control how our friends and family react to it. Their anger, disappointment, and even their happiness are things we don’t have any control over.The serenity prayer is a great way to keep this practice top of mind.
Another step in the phase of Taking Control of our lives is owning our consequences.If you we fail a test, we can blame the professor or the roommate that kept us up all night. But that makes it out of our control. If we admit we failed because we didn’t study or didn’t attend class, then we have control of our lives and we can take a different action.If it is there fault – then by definition we are powerless and helpless.The same thing is true for our successes. You are all very successful. You are in an elite program at a great University. That is better than 90% of other people in the world. It was not luck or something anyone can do. You are special you should own your successes. Getting an A on a paper or test or making a new friend. Own your successes and you will feel more in control of your life.
One other place you control your lives is in the millisecond between action and reaction. When a person cuts in front of you in traffic, you have a choice. You can cuss him out, but angry and let him ruin your morning, or you can decide that he must have some important appointment he needs to get to and you can charitably help him get their quicker. Stephen Covey covers this in his book the 8th habit.We have emotions and visceral reactions, but then our mind has the opportunity to decide what to do with those feelings. We can grab them, fan the flames, and let them ruin our day, or we can let them pass and get on with our lives in a happier and more positive flow.Have the feelings. Embrace the feelings. But then choose what action you will take.Choose to be happy instead of the alternative.
So there are a lot of areas where you can take control of your life. Remember that ocean I mentioned at the beginning? These are a few drops in that ocean.Positive Thinking – “If your thinking is stinking, so is everything else”. Positive people are healthier and make more money.Take care of your health – it is a key factor in your happiness.Exercise – besides being good for your health, it also helps your confidence and you stress levels.Diet – eating the right foods in the right amounts provides energy and confidence. Find Flow – do things that are difficult and enjoyable. Activities you get lost in will help you be happier.Mindfulness – Observe and appreciate the tiny things around you. A beautiful day, sounds of kids playing, pretty flowers, etc.Strengths and Virtues – what are you good at. What do you like to do?Don’t try to adjust them all at once. Take baby steps. Pick one area and focus on that until you have created good habits. Then move on to the next one.There are lots of books and resources to learn about each of these areas.
Time for our next activity.Write down a list of things you can control and things you can’t control. Starting to differentiate will go a long way towards helping you feel in control of your life.Remember there is a difference between what you can’t control and what you choose not to control. For your homework, pick one of the extra areas we discussed and focus on that improvement.Remember to do a little each day. Doing a lot once a month won’t work. For example to improve positive thinking – write down 3 positive things that happened that day. It will help you end the day on a positive note rather than a negative note.
OK – next phase.Who invented the light bulb? That was easy. How many people were there?Edison, like most inventors did not work alone. He had colleagues, assistants, and friends who he shared with and learned from.
Ok another test: How can you be Healthier, Happier and Live Longer?
The answer is positive relationships. Relationships are a key part of being happy and are also highly connected to success.
Being married adds up to 10 points to the average happiness score.The studies have shown that it is not the act of getting marriedbut the environment marriage creates. Being committed means you have to learn to get along. It also gives you someone to share your fears, failures and successes with. Marriage is daily rather than weekly and provides lots of opportunities for small happiness experiences.
Several studies have confirmed that cancer patients with strong relationship both personally and in support groups - live on average 50% longer. The strength and happiness that comes from positive relationships keeps them going.
Relationships constitute the single most important factor responsible for the survival of homo sapiens. BerscheidLike food and air, we seem to need social relationships to thrive. Diener and Diener
Your happiness affects other people.You can affect your friends happiness by as much as 15% and your friends friends by as much as 10%. Christakis and Fowler in the book Connected put together these network maps that show happiness groups. The colors radiate outwards with the least happy people being on the fringes of the network and the most happy people forming the center of the networks. So nurturing positive relationships is not just good for you. It is good for those around you.
So how do we build and Nurture positive relationships?Practice Charity – both doing work for a charity and being charitable in how you interact with your close relationships. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Give them a hand when they need it.Giving provides a long term uptick in happiness while we receiving provides a short term uptick in pleasure.Practice gratitude. Be happy that you have cars, food to eat, a place to sleep, people who love you.Practice Vulnerability. Brene Brown says we are the most In debt, addicted, obese, over medicated adult cohort in US History. We think we can selective numb. But when we numb the pain we also numb the joy. Be vulnerable be authentic. How many people have heard this crap about networking. You meet people and they help you find a job. That is BS. People help people they connect with. If they believe in the authentic you then they will help you.Don’t meet people. Help people. Bring them value. Share your authentic self with people. The ones that believe in you, the ones that identify with you will go to extremes to help you. Practice the 100/0 Principle. You give 100% in the relationship. You don’t expect anything in return. Now your relationship is good. What you will find, is people who see you giving 100% will give back 100%. Dare to be vulnerable.
Ok – so lets look at the activity at the bottom of Page 4. What relationships should you be nurturing. How can you give 100% to these relationships?Now pick one of these relationships and write a letter of gratitude. Read it to them in person. This is a fabulous exercise that will evoke tons of emotions for all involved. For Daily work – write down 3 things you are greatful for. Find something to be thankful for everyday.And our extra credit. 8 hugs per day. Try it. See if you can do it. It releases Oxcytocin which helps you connect even more with people. My daughter does this and we all get an extra bump when we review who got and gave the hugs that day.Pause for 2 minutes.
Ok – 4th phase of HappinessHave you heard of Sisyphus? He is the King in Greek Mythology who was doomed to forever roll a stone up a hill, only to have it roll back down again. Does your life sometimes feel like that? Like your not really getting anywhere?Dan Arielly, who wrote Predictably irrational, did a study of people building legos. He paid them $3 to build a lego model. Then $2.99 if they wanted to build a second one, and then $2.98 for a third one. They could build as many as they wanted. For one group he would bring a new model each time and for the other group he would tear down the model they had build right in front of them and give it back to them to re-build. As you might guess, the people who built new models were twice as motivated and built twice as many models. They had a sense of purpose to what they were doing. The other group did not see the point and lost motivation.
So phase 1 of Happiness was understanding the difference between Pleasure and HappinessPhase 2 was taking control of our lives.Phase 3 was building positive relationshipsNow phase 4 is having a purpose.
Something bigger than ourselves. Is the ant taking on this drop of water for his own personal gain, or is there something bigger, like the colony he is focused on. As humans we have similar needs and drives.We all need something bigger than ourselves. Whether it be religion, kids, a better life, or helping the homeless.
We need a reason Why? If we have to miss something fun to stay home and study we need to know why. It is not just so we can study, it is so we can graduate, so we can get a good job and so we can have better lives. Missing out to study makes more sense when we know the “why” is to build a better life.Duhigg in The Power of Habits talks about alcoholics who identified a higher purpose were able to sustain their abstinence.
We also need a higher purpose to help us quiet those little voices in our head. When we are internally focused, our internal speak is mostly negative. We question ourselves, or criticize ourselves. We always point out what we did wrong. A higher purpose quiets those voices. It is focused outside. How can it complain if the response is always, yes but I am working towards having a better life, or helping someone else have a better life. Sanity check! Does anyone else here those nagging little voices? Does anyone else have self-doubt, question yourself. Who is your harshest critic?
Your brain physically changes when you have a purpose. These are representative brain scans of people who are in prayer, deep thought, or meditation. The right represents people who have a higher purpose. Notice the activity in the Frontal Lobe and Language centers. These people are able to visualize a better life. Their brain is enhanced by the energy of a bigger motivation.
So how do you find your purpose?My purpose is to help other people be successful and happy.My mom’s purpose comes from a Mother Theresa quote – Leave things better than you found them.I have a vendor we used to work with who has a giant purpose – he recycles soaps and shampoos from hotels and provides them to 3rd world countries where cleanliness is a major health challenge.A friend told me about someone with a little smaller purpose. His kids wanted to help homeless people. So rather than giving them money, they fill 1 gallon plastic bags with socks, gum, toothbrushes, gatorade, and several other helpful items. They keep the bags in their back seats and the kids get to throw them to the homeless people. So back to how you find your purpose:Think about – what you care about deeply. Make a list.What are your strengths. What are you really good at.Who is just one person you can help?Don’t try to solve world hunger or take on some giant purpose that overwhelms you. Something small works just fine.Lastly – Take a few minutes each day to contemplate. Prayer, meditation, or even just 15 minutes of silence can help give you the perspective that there are bigger things that you are meant to do.
Ok – so now we are at the bottom of page 5. Write down a few things you might be interested in as a purpose. This is a brainstorming exercise. Don’t judge or edit, just fill the box.When you get home. Pick one and think through it. Try it on and see if fits. You can change purposes, or you may know your purpose and just have never articulated it. Or you may not be ready to admit what your real purpose is. On a daily basis – take 15 minutes everyday to be alone with your thoughts. Pray, meditate, or just be quiet. No TV, no books, no sleeping, no music. Just you and your thoughts. You will be surprised what you will discover about yourself.
Ok – so now we know the phases of happiness. Know the difference between Pleasure and HappinessTake Control of your LifeNurture Positive relationshipsAnd have a higher purpose.Now let’s talk about the phases to be Successful.
The first step is too define Success.
I know several people who have sold companies for tens of millions of dollars. But they don’t yet feel successful and they don’t yet feel happy.
Remember – if we don’t define what success will look like, then we will always be looking for the end of the rainbow. Expecting a pot of gold, but never really finding it.Over the horizon syndrome.
Write it down. Defining success in your head doesn’t workbecause you unconsciously change them.It has to be in writing on paper. You can always change it by re-writing it. But you have to write it down to make it real. It forces you sub-conscious to commit to it, as if it was a forgone conlusion.
Brunstein and his associates did studies that showed people who had committed to a direction, “I am a Technology person, or I am a doctor” will keep going even after they fail. If a person who was clear they were a technology person failed an IT paper, they would re-double their efforts. Those people who were not as clear would just blow it off and chalk it up to bad luck.
Ok – activity in the middle of Page 6. Write your definition of success.Homework – finish writing and re-writing until you find a definition you feel comfortable with. Try it out with your friends and family and see what they say. Everyday – see what you can do to work towards fulfilling that definition of success.
So now that we have defined success. We need to clarify and prioritize the steps to get us there.
Did anyone see Felix Baumgartner do his famous Space Dive”
How did he define succcess:Jump from 26 miles high and land on earth and still be alive.
So how did he create and prioritize the major steps? Many were just like us? He asked himself a lot of questions. His questions were:Transportation – How do I get there?Money – How do I fund this?And most importantly - “What do I wear”
So he had to write down the steps and determine the priority. He started with the money – where do I get the money?So he had major steps and a priority. Now to bring it a little closer to home.Let’s say your definition of success is to graduate, get a good job, and build a better life. What are your major steps and what has to happen first?Probably graduate college, right? So write down your steps and their priority.
What are the goals that help you get there?How about make it to 90% of my classes, spend 3 hours doing homework everyday and get an 80 or above on all my tests.
Setting these goals actually hard wires the brain. The brain assumes we have or are going to accomplish the goals. So when we don’t, the brain gets disappointed which drives us to try harder. So setting goals is not just about clarity. It is about sub-consciously motivating ourselves in addition to consciously motivating ourselves.
So now we know our goals, we need to list the actions necessary to accomplish those goals. Also how do we measure those actions?So an action might be to study an extra 4 hours before every test. We use the clock to measure it.
So – our first step might be to look at he syllabus and create a calendar with 4 extra hours blocked out before every test. Break it into stepsPrioritizeBreak down the big steps into smaller stepsSet goalsCreate actions and measurementsNow – Always know you next step.What are you going to do next – even if it is brainstorm a list of ideas to do next.
Ok. Activity in the middle of Page 7.What are the major steps you need to take to reach your definition of success? Which should you prioritize first.Your homework is to set goals and write and action plan for each of those steps.Then make sure you know what you need to do next. Every day – check your action plans – are you making progress in each area? Are you measuring that progress?
One more phase to success.We wrote our definitionClarified and prioritized our planNow we have to implement with discipline everyday.
We are not just going to implement success. We are going to build habits that will ensure we are successful and happy. We are going to do small things everyday and rather than one big thing every now and then. “Motivation gets you started. Habit keeps you going.It is overwhelming to think about everything we have discussed here today. No human can think about each of these things everyday. We have to build habits. Once we build a habit, your brain stops thinking about it. It becomes automatic, so then you can build the next habit. That is why success and happiness don’t just happen overnight. We have to work at building the right habits and getting rid of the wrong habits.
One of our main challenges in building those habits is creating the Activation Energy. Shawn Achor mentions this in his book The Happiness Advantage. It is hard to get started on a running program. You have to buy the shoes and clothes, set aside the time, and then push yourself out the door in all kinds of weather. But once you put forth the Activation Energy and overcome those obstacles, things start getting easier. Another example issetting aside the 4 hours to study for the test. Creating and then following a calendar requires Activation Energy, but once you put forth that energy, things get easier. Shawn Achor writes about sleeping in his running clothes and leaving his shoes next to his bed. He gets out of bed slips on his shoes and is ready to run. Find ways to create that Activation Energy.
Take baby steps. Don’t try to run a marathon. Start by walking around the block.
Next activity at the bottom of Page 8. What can I do each day?Get up in time for class? Which means go to be in time to get enough sleep.Study everyday or 5 days a week or whatever time you decide?Take one small step towards identifying a job – work on a list of good companies, work on your resume, practice your interview skills, etc.The beauty of this is once you have done what you need to do, like study for 2 hours. Then you get to do what you want to do with a clear conscience.
Let me stress it again. Success is not one big win. It is the sum of small efforts repeated everyday.
I want to wrap this up with one more concept. Surrounding all these phases is our basis of motivation. This comes from the book Drive by Daniel Pink.We are motivated by Mastery, Autonomy, and Purpose.Mastery – we want to learn and progress. As humans we always want to be getting better.Autonomy – that is part of Taking Control of You Life - You have to feel like you are choosing your life, not like it is choosing you.Purpose – we have already talked about – but we all need something bigger than ourselves. Whether it be religion, kids, a better life, or helping the homeless.
So hopefully, we have helped you take on baby step towards Success and Happiness.Review the activities, do the homework and the Daily Activities.I have also provide extra resources on page 9. You have my email address, several web sites, my favorite books on the topic, and several organizations that can also be helpful. By the way, I can provide you with weekly updates and reminders if you are interested.Remember baby steps. Do one little thing at a time. Just make progress. You won’t conquer, or win, or find happiness and success. You can only live it, everyday!
I believe in you! You are not here by accident. You can be happy and successful.Choose to be happy!Choose to be authentic!Create successful habits!You control your life.Thank you for your time. Please let me know if I can help.
Happiness and success connections ray white
Connecting Success and Happiness
You earned $10 Million per year?
Would you be successful if:
You would be about 65 and one of only .001% of Americans.
Top 1% of Americans averaged $380,354 in 2010.
“…Slightly happier than the average person”
…And then you could be happy!
So how much happier would you be?
• Get more job interviews
• Get better jobs with more autonomy, meaning, and
• Show superior job performance and productivity
• Are better at managerial jobs
• Are less likely to burnout
• Run organizations that are more productive and more
• Make more money
From the book Happiness at Work
“…pleasure is external and
happiness is internal. Pleasure is
an event, while happiness is a
state of mind.”
Pleasure vs. Happiness
“Happiness is not in our circumstances but in
ourselves. It is not something we see, like a
rainbow, or feel, like the heat of a fire.
Happiness is something we are”
John B. Sheerin
“Happiness is more than a mere pleasurable
sensation. It is a deep sense of serenity
connects you to
Why do we
need to know
PLEASURE DISCONNECTS FROM HAPPINESS WHEN:
1. The pleasure is illegal, unethical, or immoral.
2. You over-indulge (e.g., food, alcohol, video games)
3. Your focus on pleasure excludes happiness activities
Take Control of Your Life
“Autonomy - the feeling that your life, its
activities and habits, are self-chosen and self-
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Know what you can control and what you can’t control
“Relationships constitute the single most
important factor responsible for the
survival of homo sapiens”
“Like food and air, we seem to need
social relationships to thrive.”
Ed Diener, Robert
You influence a friend’s happiness ~15%
You influence your friend’s friend’s happiness ~10%
Christakis and Fowler - Connected
Bottom line: Nurturing positive relationships is good
for your happiness and the happiness of those around
1. Practice Charity
2. Practice Gratitude
3. Practice Vulnerability
4. Live 100/0 Principle
1. What do you care about deeply?
2. What do you love to do?
3. How can you use your strengths to make a
difference in the world?
4. Who is one person you can help?
5. Prayer, Meditation, 15 Minutes of Silence
Finding Your Purpose
If you know where you are going (definition of self) you
will try harder when you fail. If you fail at something
that is not in your “definition of self” you don’t try
harder. Brunstein, Joachim, Gollwitzer
Implement with Discipline Every Day
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you
going.” Jim Rohn
"In fact, the brain starts working less and less," says Duhigg.
"The brain can almost completely shut down. ... And this is a real
advantage, because it means you have all of this mental activity
you can devote to something else.“