Does happiness make you smarter? Take something that requires serious brainpower with life or death consequences. Medical diagnosis. Cornel university psychologists gave a bag of candy to half a group of doctors. Even doctors aren’t immune to the charms of a little token of appreciation. With their emotional state boosted the happier doctors made their diagnosis nearly twice as fast and were nearly 20% more accurate. Moral of the story? Don’t wait for your doctor to give you a lollipop, if you want an accurate diagnosis, give him one first!
It’s not just Doctors, students who were told to think of the happiest day of their lives just before taking a math test did significantly better than those who didn’t. What about work performance? Before starting a new job, 272 employees had their happiness measured. Eighteen months later those that were happiest at the beginning received higher evaluations and pay rises. They say if you want a job done well ask a busy person, actually you should ask a happy person!
Shawn Achor from Harvard University, reports on over a decade of research proving that happiness boosts nearly every business objective increasing productivity by 31% and sales by 56%. If you’re still don’t care about happiness, care about happiness because you care about profit. The Parnasus work place fund only invests in happy companies and delivers a nearly 7% higher return. Think about it, when you’re happy, you’re more open, visionary and creative. How much do you we achieve when we’re unhappy: “Life is horrible, I’m pathetic – now let’s go realize our mission!”
It doesn’t take much to boost happiness, giving or receiving a small gift of appreciation, thinking of one of the happiest days of your life, doing a random act of kindness, giving gratitude or just meditating for two minutes. I always thought success was the key to happiness. Actually it’s the other way round. Happiness is the key to success. Now Experiment on yourself and your organisation.