Happiness = enjoying your work = Success

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A fast track to having fun in the work place – Drum4Fun team building events

Hard work = success = happiness. (Out of date!)

Put simply, if you work hard, you‘ll be successful and that will make you happy. Right? Well according to research by a world leading expert on happiness and success, this formula is the wrong way around. Studies show that happiness actually fuels success.

Happiness = enjoying your work = Success

So how does it work?

Here’s the neuroscience…

Shawn in his ted talk video states that the formula, hard work = success = happiness, is “broken and backwards for two reasons”. First, for every success you achieve, your brain changes the goal posts of what success appears to be. For example: you reach your sales target, you increase your sales target. This leads to his second point that suggests if happiness is a result of success; your brain never achieves it. Instead, our brains actually work in the opposite order. If you increase the level of positivity towards your activities, your brain performs at a higher level of functioning. This level of functioning is far better than if the brain is in a negative, neutral or stressed state. Effectively, when you experience positive emotions that relate to happiness such as hope, joy, love, gratitude, serenity and so on, studies have found that your brain is flushed with the neurotransmitter, dopamine. This neurotransmitter has two functions – it makes you happy and it switches on the learning functions in your brain. What this means is your creativity rises and your energy levels rise. Effectively, when you are in a positive mindset or mood, you become more motivated and productive and therefore more likely to be successful.

Interestingly, as well as through the generation of positive emotions, levels of dopamine (and noradrenaline) in your brain increase with the consumption of proteins. Nutritionist, Cyndi O’Meara, in her book entitled, ‘Changing habits, changing lives’, talks about the ‘food-mood connection’. She uses the slogan – choose your mood by choosing your food. Cyndi states that protein rich foods that contain dopamine “keep us alert, have a tendency to make us think more quickly and increase motivation, mental acuity and productivity”.

So how do you, as an employer, create happiness in your workplace in order to be more successful?

You inject some fun!

Keeping things light in the workplace is fundamental to a happy and productive workforce. Having fun feels good and it goes a long way in helping to pick up energy levels.

Ways to inject fun into your workplace could include:

    • Schedule exercise breaks. Consult a fitness instructor for group stretching activities. These could include dance routines or simple stretching exercises. Appoint a different ‘stretch monitor’ each week to facilitate the break
    • Get out of the office. Host meetings outside at your local park or have a team lunch at a local café or restaurant
    • Hire a videographer. Capture footage of your staff discussing what a great place your organisation is to work for. Create a ‘blooper reel’ to show at the next company gathering
    • Acknowledge important dates. These could include work anniversaries for each staff member or their birthday. Buy a cake or small gift as a token of gratitude
    • Create a ‘wall of fame’. Display achievements, news articles featuring success stories of staff members or the organisation
    • Design a humour board/area. In a centrally located place (e.g., lunch room/kitchen) put up a corkboard or bookshelf for staff to post pictures, cartoons, quotes or articles and read joke or cartoon books for a bit of light relief
    • Cultivate a fun organisational culture. Hold competitions, celebrations and team building events. For example, hire a karaoke machine. Staff can compete individually or in small groups. Get creative – the ideas are endless.



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