Is the idea that positivity can change your life naive? Research shows that positivity can impact not only your health and wealth, but also your personal and professional happiness. Shawn Achor, the author of The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness, is one of the world’s leading experts on how happiness and a positive perspective can impact performance.
It’s tax season. Accountants all over the U.S. are stressed, overworked, and overwhelmed. One study, using 112 entry-level accountants as guinea pig subjects, found that those who believed they could accomplish what they set out to do were the ones who in ten month’s time received the best job performance ratings from their supervisors. These young accountants’ faith in their own abilities was MORE important in predicting job performance than their skill level or training. Wow.
You may wonder how focusing on the positive can practically help you address your everyday challenges at work. Are you concerned about a big project that is due at the end of the month? Focus on the work you’ve put in already and the plan you have to nail down all the details needed to tie-up the project in the coming weeks. No one wants to be considered a Pollyanna whose head is naively in the clouds oblivious to the obstacles in front of them. This is not what Shawn Achor is advocating. The positive psychology movement encourages individuals to focus on the positive instead of incessantly worrying about the possible problems that may not occur.
I challenge you to give this optimistic, hopeful, and fun-loving perspective a one-week test run. Good luck! I hope your faith in yourself grows by leaps and bounds.