Leaders, good news! You have complete control to be among the happiest people on earth. If you already are among the happiest, what are you reading this for? If you are not among the happiest on earth, read on and begin to shift your mindset.
What is happiness? Here is how Daniel Goleman describes it in a recent article:
“When we’re talking about genuine or enduring happiness, we’re not talking about the transient change that you experience when you eat a good meal. Or when you buy a new product, after which you rapidly return to your set point. We’re talking about an enduring change that persists across contexts.
Goleman conducted a study that clearly showed being a giver means you will be happier than others.
In one group, participants came into the lab in the morning and were given $100 each. They were told to spend the money on themselves.
Another group was given the same amount of money but were told to buy things for other people and give it to them. The only restriction: you can’t use any of the money for yourself. At the end of the day, guess which group reported much higher levels of happiness?
As a leader, you have opportunities to give on a consistent basis – to your people! Any kind of leadership applies here – self, leading others or leading the organization – and you simply have to expand your awareness to see the opportunities that are right in front of you.
Creating a giving mindset is something that really helps to promote well-being and happiness. A giving mindset is part of a great leader’s operating system and the act of giving is the natural application of that OS. We call this Natural Leadership, which is when your mindset (part of your operating system in the background) automatically helps you see opportunities to make a difference that resonate with your beliefs. But – do you believe in giving? Do you already have a giving mindset?
How do I intentionally develop a Giving Mindset?
Giving may not come naturally to you yet. Don’t beat yourself up. It is not natural for some people but it can be developed if you want to make giving part of your natural mindset.
- Create Shared Value – you can give and give and give, but if you are not giving something someone WANTS, then the act has some meaning for you but no impact. Which means, you MUST know what people want. As a leader, you must have an authentic interest.
- Be Consistent – consistent acts of giving (kindness and compassion work great here) develops the giving mindset as the actions reinforce the meaning.
When I got married, my wife and I had been dating for 6 years. I had never really taken the time to understand what she wanted. Sure, I brought flowers from time to time and was loving but I never thought much about what she would want to make HER happy.
It was easy to figure out what made her happy but I could not remember to make the time for the small acts that she would like. So, I set up ‘random’ calendar events every day and a list of small things I could do to put a smile on her face. As soon the reminder popped up, I could call her, write her a short note – whatever I felt like. These were all very small things, but add up.
While I did these things to make her happy, what I found was that it made me feel good too! After a time, longer than I would like to admit, making time for these acts became second nature and I found they made me feel good too. I had unknowingly created shared value.
As a leader, you can create shared value all day long. In fact, once you expand your awareness about what is most important to the people who work with you, you will see opportunities to create shared value everywhere.
If you make the time to do this with every person around you, becoming one of the happiest people on earth is a natural result.
There is some additional information about a wandering mind as well in the article. Read the full article here!