Purtzki, Johansen + Associates


Happiness: Fueling success and work performance

For untold generations we have been led to believe that if we work hard enough, we will be successful, and through success will come happiness. Dr. Shawn Achor, a Harvard professor in positive psychology, suggests in his book “The Happiness Advantage” that the opposite is true. When we are happy and our mindset and mood positive, we are smarter, more motivated and as a result, more successful. The most successful people do not view happiness as some distant reward for their achievements: they capitalize on the positive and reap rewards at every turn.

Here are some of Dr. Achor’s suggestions that you can apply to your practice. To master Tetris, a player must focus on obstacles by continually scanning for ways to fit the pieces together before they pile up. Adopt the positive Tetris effect. Instead of looking for negatives, train your brain to scan your environment for opportunities and ideas that allow success to grow. The more you focus on the positives around you, the better you will feel. Maintaining positive relationships with patients and staff will prevent problems from piling up.

Another success principle is “falling up.” Success does not mean you have never fallen or even that you have fallen and managed to get up. It is about resilience. Successful people use downward momentum to propel themselves in the opposite direction. Learn to capitalize on setbacks and adversity to become happier, motivated and even more successful. This is what Dr. Achor means when he talks about falling up.

Our brains perform at their best when they are positive rather than negative or even neutral. What is happiness? For Dr. Achor it is:” Happiness is the joy we feel striving after our potential.”

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