THE ADVOCATE 547
VOL. 76 PART 4 JULY 2018
By Bena Stock*
A BUSINESS CASE FOR HAPPINESS
Happy people are more creative, productive and successful. In fact, you can
become a better lawyer and improve your business outcomes if you are
happy. Hopefully that pitch has hooked you into reading this article. After
all, you have nothing to lose, and we may even make you smile.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE SECRET TO A HAPPIER LIFE
Many people think about happiness the wrong way. One of the biggest misconceptions
of the happiness industry is that happiness is an end, not a
means. We often become overly focused on accomplishment because we
think the payoff will ultimately lead to happiness, but it often does not.
Many of us have bought into the faulty premise that we will be happy when
we achieve certain goals.
Dr. Shawn Achor argues that the premise that our accomplishments will
bring us happiness is faulty because it assumes our external world is perfectly
predictive of our happiness.1 In reality, evidence establishes that if I
know absolutely everything about your external world, I could predict only
ten per cent of your long-term happiness. The other ninety per cent of your
long-term happiness is predicted by the way your brain processes the
world. If we can change this factor, the way your brain processes the world,
we can change the formula for happiness and success. To achieve this, we
need to reverse the formula and the belief that if I work harder I will be
more successful, and if I am more successful I will be happier. This formula
is broken and backwards for two reasons:
* Bena Stock is a lawyer and counselor with LAPBC.