Today we’d like to share a few thoughts we’ve had recently about how to generate more of the happiness and personal satisfaction we’re all seeking.
#1 Share a smile
The encounters we have with people every day are a great opportunity to spread a little sunshine. Whether it’s a warm smile, stopping and asking “how are you” in a genuine way or pausing an extra-long time to hold the door open for someone, each of these gestures sends out a little ripple of positive energy. And yes—those ripples have a wonderful way of adding up and fostering a healthier, more cooperative environment for everyone.
#2 Surprise with kindness
A few weeks back we had our first big snowfall in upstate New York. When we ventured out at the end of the day, we discovered that someone had brushed off all of the cars. What a wonderful surprise! It made each of us want to go off and do something nice for someone else. Paying it forward is a great social investment. And it doesn’t have to be big. The littlest thing you do for someone could be something they remember for the rest of their lives. How amazing is that?
#3 Cultivate gratitude
Counting our blessings has always been good advice. And new research confirms it: cultivating a feeling of gratitude is simply one of the most important things a person can do to increase happiness. Of course, how much we have doesn’t matter at all. It’s recognizing the good things we do have that seems to make all the difference.
#4 Donate your time
No question, writing checks to charities is an important thing to do. But when it comes to personal satisfaction, there’s nothing quite as rewarding as jumping in and getting personally involved in a good cause.
Recently our company had the opportunity to support a charity ball for special-needs children. The volunteers knocked themselves out designing backdrops, decorating the gym and creating giveaways for the event. Yet as hard as they worked, you could tell by the smiles on their faces that everyone walked away with far more than they gave.
Ever wonder why helping others feels so good? A recent Canadian study showed that volunteering actually triggers the release of endorphins, the same brain chemical that makes people feel “high” after exercising.
#5 Give at the office
If you had to pick the one attribute that best predicts career success, what would it be?
If you’re thinking it’s talent, hard work or even luck, Wharton School Professor and author Adam Grant has another idea: “At work, most people operate as either takers, matchers or givers,” he says. “But it is the givers who achieve extraordinary results across a wide range of industries.”
We couldn’t agree more. Is a giver, not a taker is the core value we’ve come to prize above all others. And we believe that filling our company with givers has been the biggest reason for our success.
In fact, having a giving heart pretty much sums up everything we’ve been talking about. Not only will it bring you more happiness. We’re convinced it has the power to transform companies too.
Here’s hoping you have a nice day.