The legal profession is known to have a high rate of alcoholism, depression and suicide. While I consider myself luck to have found happiness in my career path, many have had a difficult time with the practice of law as indicated by news reports stating lawyers tend to be unhappy in their profession. One author I enjoy listening to is Shawn Anchor who I discovered through reading Success Magazine. I thought this would be a great Blog post for the Start of the new year and wishing those in my profession a great year.
Shawn Achor is a researcher and speaker of positive psychology and happiness. In his Happiness Advantage CD set, he gives rewarding advice on how to increase happiness in the work life, family life, health, and more. Specifically, he explains how increasing your happiness and positivity will benefit you in your work life and allow you to be more successful.
Achor gives insight on success that people may have never thought of before. He explains that the predictors of success are not totally intelligence, as one may think. There are several factors that go into success and how smart you are is not the most important one. In fact, only 1/3rd of kids’ grades in school are predicted by their IQ. What is really important in success is believing that your behavior matters, having a large group of social support, and viewing stress as a challenge rather than a stress. These things predict how successful you will be, and people who apply these things to their lives have been found to greatly increase their happiness and success. Therefore, applying this to your work life will allow you to be more successful than ever before.
Another important aspect of work life is to focus on the flow of life. Moments of flow, where the information you need just flows right to you without too much effort, have been shown to recharge you and allow you to thrive. These moments of flow occur when someone is immersed in a challenge that is compatible with their skill set. Achor gives the example of being on the basketball court; when a player is throwing the ball around and immersed in the game, the facts of the game will flow through the brain and winning the game will seem easy. Achor suggests that to get this in your work life, find something that you like and enjoy but that also challenges you. Once you add this to your life, you will increase the moments of flow throughout your day, thus increasing your happiness. Again, increasing your happiness will allow you to increase your success.
On the opposite end, an inhibitor of happiness is toxicity. Everyone has some toxic people in their life. People who are chronically negative and complain about everything are destined to bring you down, making you more negative. Achor gives some insight onto how to deal with these people as well and prevent them from negatively affecting you. He explains that humans are able to pick up signals from other people, such as negative thoughts and behaviors. Achor explains how to protect yourself from these negativities. He explains that the best way to do this is influence people’s negativity with your positivity. Just as someone’s negative thoughts can rub off on you, your positive thoughts can rub off on someone else. So by staying optimistic and acting positive, you may be able to change the behaviors of these other people. Also, getting pessimistic people to talk about things that they can’t complain about will help them get their brain off of a track of negativity. Achor illustrates how you have a huge impact over other people.
With all of this information on how to increase happiness, Achor explains how this can make you luckier. Being happy does not automatically make you luckier, it is a happier perspective on life that makes a person. When people do not believe that good things will happen to them, they will believe that they are inherently unlucky and therefore will be blind to any ‘lucky’ things that may come their way. For people who are positive on life and believe that life is good to them, they will be more open and adapt to the world. Luck, Achor explains, is a product of happiness. When you see life as good and positive, good things will happen to you. Apply this to your work life and see what happens! You will be surprised at the influx of luck that you will see with your business. Anchor book and monthly columns can great help those in the legal profession. To read an Article discussing the reasons behind the high rate of unhappiness in the legal profession you can read Professor Martin Seligman’s Article from November 2015.
Achor gives some good advice regarding happiness and how increasing happiness in all aspects of your life will help you to succeed at work. Applying what I have learned form him has helped me in ways I never could have imagined. You are likely to find that you will benefit from his teachings too. Read more about Shawn Achor at his website. You won’t regret it. To receive new updates from DelSignore Law you can like our Facebook page.