The Surprising Link Between Success and Happiness

[Photo source: Tumblr]   I’ll be happy when I get fit… I’ll be happy when I get straights A’s… I’ll be happy when I’ve got my dream job… Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? We seem to have this innate idea that we can only be happy once we’ve worked really hard and become successful- in other words, success first and happiness second.   Shawn Achor, a psychology lecturer at Harvard university and author of ‘The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work’, observed a major flaw in this conventional idea of success before happiness- with each victory we achieve, our standard of success is heightened. Therefore, our happiness is constantly pushed further and further out of our reach. Sure, we may be happy for awhile but soon enough it fades away as we turn our focus towards our next big goal. His research into the field of positive psychology and neuroscience then found that we have it the wrong way around- it is actually happiness first and success second. In fact, happiness and optimism actually drives success! Introducing, the ‘Happiness Advantage’. What is that you ask? Well, by cultivating a positive brain, we encourage motivation, resilience, creativity and productivity- these all work together to give us a competitive edge, or as Shawn Achor likes to call it, the ‘Happiness Advantage’.   Shawn isn’t the only one whose studied this phenomenon, a study called ‘The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does happiness Lead to Success?’ by Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura Kind and Ed Deiner also found that happiness precedes success. From a biological standpoint, when we experience negative emotions, we often withdraw ourselves from tasks or situations, as a self-protective measure. On the other hand, when we experience positive emotions, we tend to approach rather than avoid and this encourages us to seek and tackle new goals and opportunities. The study summarized that the success of happy people relies on these two factors: Happy people experience positive moods often and therefore they are more likely to work actively toward new goals whilst experiencing these moods. Due to actively working towards these goals and seeking opportunities, happy people have gained more skills and resources over time.   So, banish the idea that your happiness is dependent on your successes. Why spend our lives chasing after happiness, when we can be happy everyday?! You control your thoughts,… View Post

Pear Slice

  This pear slice is SO yum and is great for those of us with sensitive tummies! It’s also dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free AND is suitable for anyone sensitive to amines/salicylates/glutamates/additives. This recipe is adapted from ‘friendly food’, a book that is specifically designed for food intolerances and made by the allergy experts at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit. The recipes provided in their book avoid common allergies, as well as additives and problem chemicals (amines/salicylates/glutamates). Since intolerances are still considered a “grey area” in the medical world and there isn’t much guidance on how to deal with them, this book has been a lifesaver!!! I highly recommend it to anyone with intolerances or allergies. You can find it here   Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 30-40 minutes Makes about 20 pieces   Ingredients: Canola oil, for greasing 225g (1 ½ cups) gluten-free self-raising flour ½ teaspoon gluten-free baking powder 185g (¾ cup) caster sugar (This is the amount suggested in the original recipe, however I only use ¼ cup of caster sugar as I find it’s sweet enough from the pears) 2 eggs 60ml (¼ cup) pear juice (from canned pear halves in syrup) 4 canned pear halves, mashed with a fork (do not purée them) 60ml (¼ cup) canola oil 125ml (½ cup) cold water [Optional: dust with pure icing sugar, to serve.] *If you do not wish to make this gluten-free use 90g ( ¾ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour and 90g ( ¾ cup) self-raising flour instead of the gluten-free self-raising flour and gluten-free baking powder.   Method: Preheat the oven to 190o. Grease an 18x28cm baking tin and place baking paper over the top (as seen in the picture). Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and then add the sugar. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients: eggs, juice, oil and water. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Spread half the batter into the prepared baking tin. Then spread the mashed pear over the top and finally, spoon the remaining batter over the pear so that it is completely covered. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Let it cool slightly in the tin and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Once fairly cool, carefully peel off baking paper. TIP: This is a moist slice so it is best to… View Post

The Ultimate Study Guide

    Ahh studying, the thing we all love to hate, but if you want to achieve great marks then studying is inevitable. So, I have compiled a list of tips to make studying as effective and painless as possible. And believe me, I have had plenty of opportunity to hone in on my study skills – I was that kid in high school that voluntarily chose to do subjects like physics and Maths C (more challenging maths for those of you who are unfamiliar)… for fun.  However, perfecting my study skills over the years has allowed me to maintain a high GPA at uni without even having to study most weekends – I believe it’s all about studying smarter, not harder. So try out some of the suggestions below and see what works best for you!   Study Tips:   It is best to go over the content straight after class when it is fresh in your memory. This will help cement your understanding of the content. Don’t put off small tasks. By getting them out of the way as soon as possible, you will find it easier to start tackling bigger tasks. Environment is everything. Find a comfortable and quiet place to study with good lighting and minimal distractions. This does not include your bed- the temptation to nap will be too strong. I also find that I study better when my environment is tidy and uncluttered. Relaxing music. For some people, having calming music in the background on a low volume can improve their concentration. Find what time of the day you study best. Do you prefer working in the morning or later in the day? For example, I’m a morning person and therefore try to get most of my study done in the mornings, because I know if I leave it to the evening I will most likely fall asleep and get absolutely nothing done. Have all your study material in front of you– lecture/class notes, textbooks and anything else. Start by studying the most important information first. After all, that’s most likely what you’ll be tested on. Take notes and write down a summary of the important concepts as you read through your study material. Learn the general concepts first. Do not even worry about the details until you understand the main ideas, otherwise they won’t make any sense and it will only leave you… View Post