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Your Jam-Packed Life & Happiness

Posted Mar 12 2009 3:57pm

Your life is full of compromises on who does what, proving your value where you work and how to best spend quality time with your partner, children, grandchildren and aging parents.  

How do you manage everything without getting stressed or burned out can be a question that needs answering.  Many people don' t have an answer...they just do it.  That "no answer" most likely doesn' t lead them to achieve the happiness they seek.

Coachlogonewcolorgif Coaches specializing in positive psychology are selling business units of large companies and small business owners a twofold promise.  One is that optimism and cheerfulness have a measurable effect on the bottom line.  The other is that happiness is a muscle you can strengthen

Hope is different from optimism which is a generalized expectancy that good things will happen.   Hope is something that can be taught and developed through participating in positive conversations and reading self-help books followed by taking positive action steps with the assistance of a supporting coach, mentors and a like-minded support group.

The Positive Payoff

Coaching_picture These ideas will no doubt ring a bell with anyone familiar with the work of humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow or most career-coaching books.  What makes positive psychology different, its proponents say, is a decade of clinical trials, making sometimes-controversial use of brain-scanning technology, that have measured and refined what happiness can do.

They' ve looked at how much an upbeat mood, for example, reduces the time it takes a team of doctors to make a tricky diagnosis.  They' ve found that a social worker will make twice as many visits to clients if he or she feels appreciated.

Positive psychology, in its current form, was born at the University of Pennsylvania in 1998, when Martin E.P. Seligman made the study of positive emotion the theme of his tenure and developed a master' s program for its study.  In 2002, the University of Michigan' s business school began offering PhDs in Positive Organizational Scholarship.  Since then, hundreds of happiness-and-business researchers have taken on assignments at organizations as various as Toyota Motor to the U.S. Navy.  Most graduates have fanned out to academia or big corporations.  But a few are taking the discipline to entrepreneurs.

Happiness Their argument is simple.  A decade of research suggests that happiness at work ---defined as pleasure, engagement, and a sense of meaning ---can improve revenue, profitability, staff retention, customer loyalty, and workplace safety.  Many of the studies are preliminary.  They aren' t cross-cultural or long-term.  But they strongly suggest that positive emotion increases creativity and problem-solving ability and aids in fighting stress.

This much seems certain: People can take control of certain actions that will make them happier for a time, such as setting appropriate goals.  They can add gratitude, hope, and a dose of self-control to each working day.  And it' s clear that happy bosses perform measurably better, building productive teams and inspiring loyalty.

Hope is your pathway to get what you want, and the motivation and strength to follow that path.   A higher degree of hope creates a higher satisfaction in the life you choose to live.

Source: BUSINESSWEEK SMALLBIZ, February 2009

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