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the Happiness Track

Updated: Aug 11, 2020

How to apply the science of happiness to accelerate your success

Andrea Seydel

Live Life Happy Unconventional Bookclub High-light

The Happiness Track Emma Seppala

Introduction: Emma Seppala convinces us that reconfiguring our brain for happiness can change the way we approach success. Happiness is the fast track to success, backed by science and research, Emma Sappala teaches us not only how to thrive, but stay true to ourselves and enjoy the process along the way. Drawing on research on happiness, resilience, willpower, compassion, positive stress, creativity and mindfulness -- Seppala demonstrates that being happy is the most productive thing we can do to thrive. Emma Seppala is the science director at the counter for compassion and altruism research and director of education at stanford university, she is the founder of new site Fulfilment daily.

1. Stop Chasing the Future

Why happiness and success are found in the present.

Instead of thinking about what's next on your to-do list, focus on the task or conversation at hand. You will become more productive and charismatic. Completely immersed in an activity pure state is referred to Flow. Csikszentmihalyi research.

We tend to have compulsion to constantly achieve and have forward oriented focus. Delaying our happiness to happier later called the anticipatory Joy Trap. Paradoxically slowing down and focusing on what is happening in front of you right now has been shown to increase productivity and happiness.

TIPS: Exercise and Practice: Empathy, good listening skills, eye contact, enthusiasm, consciously being present, meditate, breath focus, truly experience pleasure, take technology break.

2. Step Out of Overdrive

How to tap into your natural resilience

Instead of living in overdrive, train your nervous system to bounce back from setbacks.

Drive is a positive thing- in doses. Stress defined as having to face challenge while feeling you have too little resources to meet the challenge. Stress not all bad, but if our brain allows us to stay in that state too long it's unhealthy and sabotages resilience.

TIPS: Tap into your natural resilience through: Breath training, make time for calming activities, slow down, walk, take care of your body, slow paced activities, hug a loved one.

3. Manage Your Energy

Discover the healing benefits of Calm

Instead of engaging in exhausting thoughts and emotions, learn to manage your stamina by remaining calm and entered. You'll save mental energy for tasks you need it most.

Muscle up, get fired up, knock it out of the park, muscle through, go get it... Sound familiar? There is a cost of intensity, it's taxing, physiological arousal and mentally taxing. Self control, will power, grit or goals= mismanaged energy.

Tips: Calm is the key to energy management (more than just rest): Do something that makes you feel positive, turn what you're doing into something you want to be doing, focus on why not how, practice gratitude, detach from work when not working,

4. Get More Done By Doing More of Nothing

Discover the secret to accessing creativity

Instead of spending all your time focused intently on your field, make time for idleness, fun and irrelevant interests. you will become more creative and innovative and will be more likely to come up with breakthrough ideas.

Purposely let your mind drift into idleness, away from liner thinking. Un-focus through diversification, mindless tasks, broaden your horizons, make time for stillness and silence, invite fun back into your life,

5. Enjoy A Successful Relationship... With Yourself

How you relate to yourself affects your potential

Instead of playing to your strengths and being self-critical, be compassionate with yourself and understand your brain is build to learn new things. You will improve your ability to excel in the face of challenge if you learn from your mistakes.

We either go "it" or we do not. Often we believe our success is predestined by natural abilities and gifts. This thinking backfires, it erodes self belief, motivation and causes you to give up. Science shows you should not let yourself believe that you are limited. This strength/talent/gifts thinking lead to harsh criticism.

TIPS: Believe in effort, not strengths. exercise self compassion, be kind to yourself, understand you are human, practice mindfulness of thoughts and feelings, notice self talk, write yourself a letter, develop a self compassion phrase/mantra (may I be kind to myself in this moment).

6. Understand the Kindness Edge

Why compassion serves you better than self-interest

Instead of remaining focused on yourself, express compassion to and show interest in those around you. Maintain supportive relationships and you will increase loyalty and commitment of those around you.

Narcissism Epidemic inflated feeling of superiority and entitlement. Self focus ruins relationships, creates blind spots. Studies show that compassion increases status, trustworthiness, loyalty, engagement

Tips: Strengthen your Compassion muscle: Verbalize others point of view, attend compassion training program, exercise empathy and understanding, focus on others.


Happiness- defined as a state of heightened positive emotion- has a profound positive effect on our professional and personal lives. It increases our emotional and social intelligence, boosts our productivity and heightens our influence over peers and colleagues.

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