This Simple Trick Is the True Secret to Success
Emma Seppälä, science director of Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, has a theory about success: Happiness trumps all. She argues that happiness is the surprisingly simple and shockingly effective path to success. In her book, The Happiness Track, Seppälä acknowledges that the term “compassion” conveys a soft, unscientific meaning. However, she argues that the merits of self-compassion far outweigh those of self-criticism. “Treat yourself as you would treat a colleague or friend who has failed,” Seppälä recommends. Of course, showing yourself kindness is much easier said than done. Scroll through to see how Seppälä breaks down this psychological shift, and get ready to smile your way to success.
Make a daily gratitude list to remind yourself of the wonderful things in your life. Then write down three to five things you did today that you're proud of. Taking a moment to reflect on the good things is a great way to boost your happiness.
When things aren't going your way, have a self-compassion phrase that you recite to remind yourself of life's roller coasters and give you the stamina to keep moving forward in the face of adversity. Psychologist Kristin Neff practices the following mantra: "This is a moment of suffering. Suffering is part of life. May I be kind to myself in this moment; may I give myself the compassion I need." Feel free to use this, or develop your own mantra.
Perfection is a myth. You must understand that mistakes are a part of human nature. Failure should not cause a feeling of defeat. Rather, it's important to realize that failure is a step on the way to success.
Change the way you criticize yourself. Neff suggests that you replace negative self-talk like "How could I have done this? I’m such an idiot!” with compassionate self-speak like "I had a moment of absent-mindedness, and that’s okay.” Being able to forgive yourself is crucial for stimulating happiness.
Instead of punishing yourself for a mistake, write yourself a letter about the situation. Write to yourself as if you were writing to a friend going through the same situation. This letter will sound less angry and more compassionate than what you would normally say to yourself.
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How do you pick yourself up after something in life doesn't go as well as you wanted it to? Share with us in the comments.