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Why Happiness at Work Matters


Neil Pasricha (wide shot)MEETINGS + INCENTIVE TRAVEL:  Neil, we are looking forward to your keynote at IncentiveWorks 2016 next Wednesday (August 17, 2016). We’d like to prepare for your talk. Can you tell us why happiness is in the spotlight right now? What makes this the right conversation to be having with our group?

NEIL PASRICHA: Absolutely.

We all want to be happy.

And the truth is that we want to be happy more than anything else.

Happy - Google Ranking

Sure, being a rich, real estate agent might be nice. But new studies show that university grads now want happiness more than wealth for the first time ever.

Google Trends even shows a massive spike in happiness interest versus wealth over the past ten years.

Google Trends - Happiness

So, we all want to be happy. And we’re more interested in happiness than we used to be. Those two statements beg a big follow-up question: Are we?

Well, sadly, the answer is a clear and resounding “No.” Professor of Psychology David G. Myers at Hope College and his team have lead the largest ever longitudinal study on happiness. They’ve spend over 50 years studying the percent of people who are happy in society. That’s a long time to commit to a project! And unfortunately it hasn’t shown a very happy lift.

Here are the results:

Average Income and Happiness (U.S.)

Yes, the truth is we haven’t moved the needle at all.

Over the past fifty years the number of people who say they’re very happy is the same. This despite massive increases in our wealth, safety, technology, freedom and access to information.

All those things have shot up!

But happiness has stayed flat.

So, we want happiness—but we haven’t been getting it.

Now let’s look a little deeper. Let’s ask ourselves, “Well, where are we the happiest? And where are we the unhappiest?” Dr. Matt Killingsworth of Harvard has studied over 15,000 people in more than 150 countries through an innovative app called Track Your Happiness, and the results are very clear.

Resoundingly so!

Check out the results on the bubble chart below. The happiness scale is left to right and the size of the bubble is how much time we spend on it.

Happiness Scale

So, we can see clearly that work is the place we are spending most of our time and it’s the place we are the unhappiest.

That’s not a good combo!

And that is the basis for our conversation next Wednesday.

I’m looking forward to sharing my history and research on the topic of happiness and, more importantly, giving the audience some easy frameworks they can apply in just a few minutes a day to be happier at work and home.

A Harvard Business Review cover story last year reported that happier people are 31 per cent more productive, have 37 per cent higher sales, and are three times more creative than their peers.

What are the secrets to getting there?

That’s what we’ll discuss at IncentiveWorks!

See you then!

Neil Pasricha is a Harvard MBA, a New York Times best-selling author, award-winning blogger, and one the most popular TED speakers in the world. His first book, The Book of Awesome, about appreciating small pleasures, is a #1 international best seller. His new book, The Happiness Equation, was released this spring to critical and popular acclaim. Named the Pied Piper of Happiness by The Toronto Star, Neil travels around the world sharing messages on happiness. In the past few years, he has spoken to more than 200,000 people at hundreds of events. He has spoken to royal families in the Middle East, deans at Ivy League universities, and CEOs at organizations such as Audi, Abbott and General Electric. Using research and models that enhance individual performance, he helps Fortune 500 companies, schools and non-profits create positive, productive workplaces. He is represented by Speakers’ Spotlight. Neil was a keynote speaker at IncentiveWorks 2016.



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