In June of 2015, I was approached to join the netlogx Wellness Committee and to champion the Wellness Committee efforts in the netlogx Santa Fe office. As the year went on and I was inducted into the Fast Track program, I was somewhat presented with the opportunity to lead the Wellness Committee, which is my inspiration behind this blog post.

We all know that a healthy well-being is important, we’ve been told this time and time again. That’s not the point of this blog post; I’m not going to encourage you to go for a run tonight or to exchange that burger you plan to have for lunch tomorrow for a salad (although that’s not a terrible idea).

But I do want you to rethink the role that a healthy physical well-being plays in a healthy mental or emotional well-being, and how being happy affects your performance in everyday life.

Start with this TED talk by Shawn Achor:

If you forgot your headphones and can’t watch the video right now, here’s a quick recap:

Mr. Achor explains that many of us base our happiness on our level of success. The issue with this is that in order to be happy, we have to continue meeting more and more demanding goals. Suddenly it isn’t enough to meet a sales goal, now it’s about doubling it.

He introduces something called “the happiness advantage”. He goes on to explain that the happiness advantage is the positive boost (pun intended) that the brain experiences in productivity, creativity, and intelligence when it’s happy.

This is because of that lovely chemical called dopamine. He explains that dopamine actually does two things to the brain. Not only does dopamine make us happy, but it also engages the learning centers in the brain in a way that allows us to interact with the world differently. He explains that “your brain at positive is 31% more productive than your brain at negative, neutral, or stressed. You’re 37% better at sales

[and] doctors are 19% faster and more accurate at coming up with the correct diagnosis”.

It’s all about training the brain to view the world differently. Mr. Achor says you can do this by spending a few minutes a day journaling about something positive that happened in the last 24 hours, by meditating, or by exercising.

So I want you to rethink what makes you happy, and to consider whether you’re pursuing the right goals. If we all did something to improve our happiness then our workplace would become a beacon of creativity and productivity. Happiness isn’t a byproduct of success, success is a byproduct of happiness.

(P.S. If you didn’t watch the video, you should. It has just enough humor to lift your spirits)