Are you fulfilled and enjoying life? Or, are you eking out a limited quota in the belief that you can draw on the Bank of Enjoyment in old age? In fact, there is no need to settle for life on a treadmill. All too many people think that success leads to enjoyment. Research shows that this is the wrong way round. In fact, enjoyment leads to success, which feeds enjoyment in a continuum. Being intentional about creating a virtuous circle of flourishing is a winning formula.
Three tips for boosting your enjoyment and success
1. De-bunk the ‘no pain, no gain’ fallacy
Have you been conditioned to viewing enjoyment as a reward for having done something you don’t like doing? The excellent news is that doing more of what you enjoy is good for you. Furthermore, it is a strategy for success. Numerous research studies (including a meta-analysis of 225 academic studies by researchers Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura King and Ed Diener) show that people are successful because they are happy—happiness is the cause, not the effect. Many people, if not most, get this the wrong way around. It has been proven that a key element to enjoyment and thriving is playing to your strengths.
2. De-bunk the ‘work isn’t meant to be enjoyable’ fallacy
Work is a crucial component of well-being since it takes up so many waking hours. In a subsistence economy, linking enjoyment and work may be a fantasy, but this is by no means so in the developed world. Not only is it not a fantasy — it is a pre-requisite for maximising outcomes. Studies of the most fulfilled people the world over show that they are doing what they feel they were made for.
Perhaps ultimate success lies with those people who can say that they are doing what they love. The fact that they get paid for their work is a bonus. This may be extreme. However, appreciating that a strengths-based approach has been proven to maximise outcomes frees you to search for opportunities to do more of what you enjoy. This is not being self-indulgent but smart.
3. De-bunk the deferral myth
We all set up reward structures as a way of motivating ourselves. These can be highly effective. In fact, the enjoyment derived from the reward can be a very refreshing boost. High achievers run the risk, though, of being so keen to move on to the next big goal that they don’t linger long enough to savour their success. They are short-changing their enjoyment and also the motivational power of the success itself when hurdles crop up in the future.
There is huge power in harnessing an ‘enjoyment now’ mindset. This mindset doesn’t involve a sudden leap to hedonism but instead involves internalising the idea that enjoyment can come at all and any time of day, it need not be deferred, it is often derived from small and simple things, and it is a choice.
For more detail, read A to Z: Your Navigator to Success. Click to buy.
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