Feeling, being & performing at your best!

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''Happiness'' is everywhere these days. Happiness as a goal, is an awesome goal. The problem is though, that ''happiness'' is often misunderstood, or poorly defined.

At an organisational level, ''happiness'' is often simply the new ''employee engagement'' or ''customer engagement'', but without a clear definition. A question we tried to answer at an event this week, The Happiness Talks, was:

Does ''being happy'' help us perform better at work?

Findings from our study #Exercise4BrainFitness and many other studies provide data which supports this. Participants in our study who reported ''being happy'' reported 15% higher levels of executive function performance than their peers. Interestingly, they also reported around 30% lower stress levels, 30% higher level of physical activity, 30% more time ''disconnecting'' and 30% better sleep.

''Happy employees'' are less stressed, sleep better, perform better and their lifestyle seems to contribute to this.

The challenge is though, we don't always know ''what drives what'', e.g.:

  • Do we sleep better because we're less stressed, or are we less stressed because we sleep better?
  • Do we sleep better because we exercise more, or do we exercise more because we sleep well?
  • Are we happier because we are less stressed, or less stressed because we are happy?

The key question here is - is happiness the ''ultimate'' emotional state for performance at work? What other emotions can be associated with being, feeling and performing at our best?

I asked the participants who attended the Happiness Talk to explain the feeling, the environment and the action that they associate with them ''being, feeling & performing at their best''.

Here is some of what came back:

  • I feel: pride, joy, serenity, calm, contempt, excitement, enthusiasm, fulfillment, harmony, inner peace
  • I am: inspired, powered, focused, on a high, creative, unstoppable...

Interestingly, simply talking about what makes us feel and be at our best, raised the feeling of happiness in the room.

To conclude... being happy at work can help us perform better, but this is not enough. As individuals we also need to be aware of, and recognise the other emotions and states of mind which make us be, feel and perform at our best.

Do you know what's making you to be, feel and perform at your best?