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Two Proven Keys to Happiness

happyThere’s a rising call for developed countries to track happiness, rather than just income and wealth. Economists say that the goal of a “rational actor” is to maximize his or her “utility” – their fancy term for happiness – over the course of his or her life. Perhaps governments are trying to catch up with the economists!

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Leicester University in England has tracked happiness for the past 30 years. Consistently, Denmark – not Disneyland – has topped their list as the happiest place on earth.

We wondered why … why are the people in Denmark so darn happy?

Is it the weather?

Average temperatures in Copenhagen are about 68 degrees in the summer and around zero in the winter. We don’t know about you, but that’s not our idea of great weather!

Is it the taxes?

Like her sister Scandinavian countries, Denmark has some of the highest taxes in the world. Now, granted those taxes are matched with some of the highest benefits for any citizenry.

Is it their lifestyle or their habits?

Danes are some the heaviest drinkers and smokers in the world?

Is it their diet?

One of the staples of the Danish diet is herring – this is a country that eats a lot of herring!

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marylynnSo it can’t be the diet, because … maybe it’s just my personal taste, but ick!

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georgeNow there a lot of theories about what makes the Danes so happy. One of my theories is that they drink so much, they don’t remember whether they’re happy or not!

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Seriously, theories are fine, but we thought we should look at what the research shows is driving this happiness.

Professor Kaare Christensen at the University of Southern Denmark found that Danes have low expectations. Because of this culture of expecting less, the people are happy when good things happen.

This made us think of something Tony Robbins said – if you’re not happy, you have a choice. You can either change your conditions or your expectations. But what if you don’t want to change your expectations?

Tal Ben-Shahar, who teaches the most popular class at Harvard University, found that the single most significant predictor of happiness is close relationships with friends and family. We found it interesting that 92 percent of Danes belong to some sort of social club.

Maybe that’s why social media has become so bigg! What do you think?

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Sources

University of Leicester Produces the first ever World Map of Happiness

Why Danes are smug: comparative study of life satisfaction in the European Union

Denmark: The Happiest Place on Earth

Denmark ‘happiest place on earth’

The REAL Happiest Place on Earth

And The Happiest Place On Earth Is…

(Image by nookiez)

Are Good Looks an Advantage or a Disadvantage at Work?

A lot of attractive people complain that people assume things about them without getting to know them. It’s assumed that they’re unintelligent, superficial, and even arrogant.

You’ve been given the gift of physical attractiveness, which has to mean you’re lacking in other areas. In the social world, you’re just the pretty boy or girl.

But does that perception carry over into the professional world? Is there a bias against people who are good-looking?

 

Green Without Envy
Economists Markus Mobius of Harvard University and Tanya Rosenblat of Wesleyan University did a study to see how looks affected the hiring process. They divided participants into five groups:

  • Two of the groups never saw a photo of the candidate or the candidates themselves
  • The other three either saw the candidate’s photograph or in-person.

The groups who saw the candidates were much more likely to hire the more attractive candidate, even though the less attractive candidate was just as qualified.

These employers predicted that the attractive candidates would be more productive, and would be rewarded for it with higher pay.

Even Greener Pastures
Daniel Hamermesh, an economist at the University of Texas, is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the economics of beauty. Dr. Hamermesh has focused on how beauty effects financial success in the workplace.

His research confirms the results of the study we just referenced – that beauty gains an advantage because the doors of opportunity open more frequently. So they make connections, learn skills, and grow professionally. Then they’re able to leverage that first opportunity into many more opportunities, which results in even higher pay.

He also offers little hope for the unattractive. His research has shown that spending money on things to enhance your looks is a waste. You’ll only get back about 15 cents in pay for ever dollar you spend.

Our bigg quote today is by an unknown author:

“We could learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty,
some are dull, while others bright, some have weird names,
but they all have learned to live together in the same box.”

The more colors you have, the more colorful your world can be.


Questions for you

Socially, we often hear pretty people complain that they’re discriminated against. But research seems to show that it works to their favor in the workplace.

From your experiences, do you think good looks are an advantage or a disadvantage?

Is there a difference between men and women? Are good looks more important in the workplace for men or for women?

How about age? Is this something you think affects young people more than older workers or vice versa?

What do you think of Dr. Hamermesh’s finding that it doesn’t pay to try to package yourself better? Do you think it makes a difference?

Share your thoughts by leaving a Comment.

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(Image by svilen001)

Plant the Seed This Spring for Your Bigg Success

spring_crops

It’s the first day of spring! Before long, farmers will be planting. That got us thinking – just like a farmer, we have to plant in order to harvest.

If we want an output, we need an input. To produce a result, we have to take action. We can’t control the result, but we can control our activity.

So focus on planting, not the plant!

3 steps to planting the seed
We’re going to work backwards from the final input to the initial activity.

#3 – Plant
Unless you actually plant the seed, you won’t have anything to harvest. You have to follow through on everything that led to this step. Focus on activities that will yield the best result.

#2 – Prepare to plant
To be ready to plant, gather the needed resources together. For the farmer, that means buying the seed, getting the fertilizer, and preparing the ground for planting.

For the rest of us, it depends on your situation. You may need to do some research, prepare collateral materials (e.g. resume, business plan), make a prospect list, find potential strategic partners, or design promotional material.

These are just a few of examples. Preparing takes time and effort, but you have to do it or you won’t be ready for Step 3.

#1 – Plan to plant
If a farmer waits until the first day of spring to start planning for the upcoming season, he’ll have an uphill battle. That’s the reason we counted backwards (in addition to showing you that we could)! 

Think who, what, when, and where. And make sure you know the “why” for each of those! And also think about “what if”.

So thinking like a farmer: Who’s going to plant what crop? Where and when will it be planted?

For those of us who don’t farm, think back to Step 2 for an example. We said you may have to do some research. Are you going to do it yourself? Could you pay to have it done? In either case, what research do you need? Where will you find it (or the person who will do it)? When will the research need to be done?

A Bigg Success story
We crank out five shows / blogs and a newsletter every week. That’s our end result. As long as we focused only on the result, we struggled. Then we put into practice what we’re preaching here!

First
, we plan our work. We now use a production schedule that maps out what needs to be accomplished every DAY, not every WEEK. That’s made a huge difference.

Second, we prepare every day. What will we talk / write about? Do we have the information or do we need to get it? Where will we get it? Then we gather the required materials. Now we’re ready for the final step.

Third, we do it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this blog!

The Bigg Goal-Getters Workbook is a great tool for implementing this process. It’s FREE when you subscribe to our FREE newsletter The Bigg Success Weekly!

Our bigg quote today is by William Arthur Ward:

“Faith sees a beautiful blossom in a bulb, a lovely garden in a seed, and a giant oak in an acorn.”

So remember, actions produce results. Belief produces actions.

Next time, we’ll discuss seven ways to tap into your creative side. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Related posts 

How Do You Define Success?

Climbing The Stairway To Success

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How To Get Rich 

(Image by mrhappy, CC 2.0)

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