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Do You Make Your Friends Happy?

happy_people A recent study of happiness showed that the birds you flock with make a bigg difference. Nicholas Christaskis with the Harvard Medical School and James Fowler from the University of California at San Diego found that the more connections you have with happy people, the more likely you are to be happy.

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It cuts both ways

They likened it to a quilt. If the person in the patch next to you is unhappy, it increases the likelihood that you’ll also be happy by seven percent.

If the person next to you is happy, it increases the odds that you’ll be happy by fifteen percent. It’s interesting to note that we seem to have some resilience to unhappy people since happy people tend to rub off twice as often as unhappy people.

But the good news is that is doesn’t stop there. If the person who knows the person next to you (i.e. the person two patches away) is happy, the probability that you’ll also be happy increases ten percent. So happy people one step removed still increases the odds that you’ll be happy more than that unhappy person next to you!

In a quest to find out how happy we could be once we get to Kevin Bacon’s patch (six patches of separation) on the quilt, the researchers found that if the person three blocks away is happy, your chances of being happy increase six percent.
Happiness is contagious!

4 questions to discover if you spread happiness

To determine if someone was happy, the researchers asked four questions. During the past week, how often …

  1. Did you enjoy life?
  2. Were you happy?
  3. Did you feel hopeful about the future?
  4. Did you feel that you were just as good as other people?

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marylynnI feel blessed because I have positive responses to each and every one of these questions. I guess I’m a happy person.

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georgeI think I’m a happy person as well. In fact, if I remember right, I was voted the “Happiest” person in high school! But when I look closely at these questions, it makes me think. Like the first question … I enjoy my life, but how often do I stop and recognize it?

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This study was released recently, but imagine how you might have responded if you were asked the third question at the height of the financial crisis. Uncertainty creates fear, but as these questions show, it’s important to remain optimistic in any environment. That’s where happy people come in – they’ll help you have a brighter outlook no matter what the situation!

There’s one more benefit to hanging out with happy people. The researchers reference a study done in 1984 that showed that having an extra $5,000 increased a person's chances of being happy by about two percent. Based on those results and the results of this study, the researchers conclude that a happy friend is worth $20,000!

They say a happy friend is worth $20,000. We’ll borrow from MasterCard – we think having a happy friend is … priceless!

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We really appreciate you checking in with us today. Join us next time when we discuss the three categories of spending. Keeping them in mind will keep your budget in line! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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(Image in today's post by merala)

Is Entrepreneurship the Fountain of Youth?

one You probably intuitively know this but studies have proven it as well – our willingness to take risks declines with age. A banker we know says that the difference between junior lenders and senior lenders is …

Junior lenders want as high a lending authority as possible because that shows confidence in their abilities. Senior lenders want as low a lending authority as possible because that gives them cover!

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Entrepreneurs are hot about hot decisions

Scientists at the University of Cambridge recently released a study on “cold” and “hot” decisions by two groups – managers and entrepreneurs. By their definition, “cold” decisions involve little emotional involvement whereas “hot” decisions involved taking risk. The outcome of these hot decisions is unknown in advance; it could go either way – good or bad.

Both the managers and the entrepreneurs in the study were about 50 years old, on average. The researchers found that the managers took risks consistent with their age.

Entrepreneurs, however, made hot decisions –
accepted risk – like someone twenty years younger.

So we can only conclude that entrepreneurship is the fountain of youth. By taking risks, we act younger than we are!

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marylynn
I thought taking risk was the cause of some of the gray hairs I have to cover!

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george
And I thought it was the reason I have a lot less hair than I used to!

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We know that, right now, a lot of us aren’t in a risk-taking mood. But if the past is any indicator, it will be risk-taking entrepreneurs that turn our economy around and start creating jobs.

Risk-taking can be learned

This study also showed that risk-taking can be learned. So you can tap into the fountain of youth by learning how entrepreneurs are able to manage the risk they take.

Contrary to popular belief, entrepreneurs aren’t risk lovers. They are willing to accept moderate risks, in general. However, as we see again in this study, they’re more willing to accept risk than the general population. We can think of four reasons why they do this:

Entrepreneurs may read the situation differently.

They often have insights that people on the outside don’t have so they’re able to interpret the situation differently. We may look at a situation and see a lot of risk. The entrepreneur knows it’s much less risky because of his or her unique knowledge.

Entrepreneurs aren’t paralyzed by risk.

Many people are willing to do everything right up to the point of taking action. They develop analysis paralysis and never pull the trigger. Entrepreneurs analyze to a point, but then they just go.

Entrepreneurs are often able to shift a portion of the risk to others.

It could be the firm’s employees, customers, vendors, or financiers. As entrepreneurs get others to buy in, no matter what the form, the level of risk they are taking goes down to a manageable level. Then they know they can act.

Entrepreneurs are able to handle and live with “entrepreneurial terror.”

They can handle the stress that comes along with the risk. They are able to ride the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial roller coaster ride.

So what we learned today is that entrepreneurs don’t act their age. And that’s one of the secrets to their bigg success!

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Thank you so much for reading our post today. Join us next time when we talk about another study that shows that a happy friend is worth $20,000 in the bank! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00284-121108.mp3

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(Image by Kreon)