How many of you had parents that said if you work ‘hard’ you’ll get ahead. And you probably have worked hard and have been successful. Now let me ask you about your stress level and your happiness. Are you happy with what you’re doing? Or are you so stressed out that you’ve burned out and you’re only in your 40’s or 50’s.
In a Gallup poll conducted in 2014, 70% of the population was unengaged in their work. According to Statista, 64% of employees reported higher levels of stress with their workload being the number one cause.
And I’m sure you’re well aware of the number of studies showing the adverse effect that stress has on our health. The pressure to succeed is even affecting our college students. Google ‘stress and college students’ and you’ll find plenty of studies showing the rise in depression, anxiety, and burn-out among younger adults today.
So I’ll ask again, are you pursuing a career at the cost of being unhappy and unhealthy?
If so, I would recommend reading The Happiness Track by Dr. Emma Seppala Ph.D. Dr. Seppala is the science director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. In her research, Dr. Seppala found that ‘happiness’ was the key to success, not hard work. She believes that if you’re happy you’ll be more creative, more productive, and more influential. In her book Dr. Seppala disproves the notions of working nonstop in order to achieve your goals and that you can’t succeed without stress and that we must stay focused on our goals at any cost.
If you’ve ever failed at achieving your goals did you beat yourself up thinking you let yourself or someone else down? Dr Seppala’s research shows that self-criticism is really self-sabotage. Instead of criticizing ourselves Dr. Seppala suggests that we should show ourselves self-compassion. If we treat ourselves with the same kindness we would treat a friend in the same situation we would end up being more resilient and more productive.
Is it really a dog-eat-dog world? Research shows that being kind to others and going out of your way to help ends up not only benefiting those you are helping but will help you be happier, healthier, and more productive.
So if you’re one of those in the boat that believes you need to work hard on the road to success, keep in mind the data now suggests otherwise. Science has proven that taking care of yourself and others, taking time off, and finding joy in your life is the easier path to success and achieving your goals.