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Inspiring Happiness and High Performance Organisational Wellness

“The Very Purpose of Life is To Seek Happiness” – The Dalai Lama

I. Defining Happiness AKA Subjective Well-Being

  • Pleasant emotions and moods
  • Lack of negative emotions and moods
  • Overall life satisfaction judgments

II. What Determines Happiness?

  • Biological Set Point: 50%
  • External Circumstances: 10%
  • Intentional Activity: 40% (Within Our Ability to Control!)

III. Why Be Happy?

IV. Measuring Happiness

—two primary methods:

  • Objective/ social indicators
  • Subjective indicators—two types

experienced well-being (momentary effective states)
– evaluated well-being (evaluations of one’s life).

V. Important findings

Created from subjective well-being research: 

  • people’s satisfaction from their lives (or aspects of it) depends on how it compares to those around them, and to what they themselves have experienced in the past. 
  • The ability to adapt to life’s circumstances is key 
  • Externally-induced preferences (environment) can contribute to unhappiness, creating new desires and unfulfilled needs.

VI. Global Findings

—Which Country is the Happiest?

VII. Happiness Myths

  • #1: Happiness must be “found”
  • #2: Happiness lies in changing our circumstances
  • “If only I were wealthy”
  • “If only I were beautiful/better looking”
  • #3: You either have it or you don’t

VIII. Premises from a Few Books on Happiness

A.You Can be Happy No Matter What by Richard Carlson.

Your thoughts (under voluntary control) lead to your moods. We all live in our own separate psychological reality. Feelings let us know how we are doing. We must learn to keep our attention in the present moment, by paying attention to our feelings. The present moment is where we find happiness and inner peace.

B.How We Choose to Be Happy by Rick Foster & Greg Hicks

People reported as very happy by other in their community were studied. They were all found to share the following qualities: intention, accountability, identification, centrality, recasting, options, appreciation, giving, truthfulness.

C.The Ultimate Happiness Prescription by Deepak Chopra.

Seven Keys to joy and enlightenment: be aware of your body, find true self-esteem, detoxify your life, focus on the present, see the world in yourself, live for enlightenment.

D.Happiness is a Choice by Barry Neil Kaufman.

6 Shortcuts to Happiness: 1) Make happiness the priority, 2) Develop personal authenticity, 3) Let go of judgments, 4) Be present, 5) Be grateful, 6) Decide to be happy.

E.Positivity by Barbara L. Fredrickson.

Decrease negativity in your life, break the grip of rumination, defuse your negativity land mines, assess your media diet, find substitutes for gossip and sarcasm, develop strategies for dealing with negative people. Tools for positivity: be open, create high-quality connections, cultivate kindness, develop healthy distractions, dispute negative thinking, find nearby nature, learn and apply your strengths, meditate mindfully, meditate on loving-kindness, ritualize gratitude, savor positivity, visualize your future.

F.Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth by Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener.

Recipe for Happiness: have important goals and values, develop strong and supportive relationships, add material sufficiency, add a positive genetic temperament, cultivate spiritual emotions, cultivate wisdom and wise choices, savor the high points of your past and cultivate optimism about your future, live as though happiness is a process—not a place.

G.The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky.

  • 1. Express gratitude
  • 2. Cultivate optimism
  • 3. Avoid over-thinking and social comparison
  • 4. Practice acts of kindness
  • 5. Nurture social relationships
  • 6. Develop strategies for coping
  • 7. Learn to forgive
  • 8. Increase flow experiences
  • 9. Savor life’s joys
  • 10.Commit to your goals
  • 11.Practice religion and spirituality
  • 12.Take care of your body

Happiness@work has potent impacts in creating a high performance team and exponential impact workplace.

For Keynote business Talks in Gauteng, Appreciative Team Building Workshops – For High Performance Team Building and expert business talks, see www.lifemasters.co,.za  and tonydovalespeaks.com – call 083-447-6300


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You Can Be Happy No Matter What. Novato: New World Library.
• Chopra, D. (2009).
The Ultimate Happiness Prescription. New York: Harmony Books.
• Diener, E., Biswas-Diener, R. (2011)
Happiness—Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth. Malden: Blackwell Publishing
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THANKS! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
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Positivity. New York: Random House.
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Stumbling on Happiness. New York: Random House.
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Learn to be an Optimist. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.
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Authentic Happiness. New York: Simon & Schuster.
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• Kahneman, D., Krueger, A.B., Schkade, D., Schwarz, N., Stone, A.A. (2006). Would you be happier if you were richer?: A focusing illusion.
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