How to accelerate performance and happiness

600 people were told to pick their signature strength and use it in a unique way every day for two weeks.  Each was significantly happier and less stressed compared to control groups, a benefit which lasted long after the study.

Nothing fuels an upward spiral like progress.  And nothing accelerates progress like using strengths, as opposed to focusing on improving attributes that don’t come naturally.

In a sentence: focus most of your energy on identifying and leveraging strengths, and a small percentage on fixing weaknesses.

This works on the macro-level for organizations, and on the micro-level for each one of us.


Continuous improvement using the 1% rule

Anything that compounds 1% per day will be 37 TIMES better in one year. This is not always easy to quantify in exact terms. Who knows if your tennis game, your business, or your parenting skills, or your ability to be more patient is improving 1% every day?

But as with most things in life, more important than speed on the road to improvement is knowing that you’re on the right road, moving in the right direction.

Who’s your competition?

A study asked if people would rather be gifted a $400k house on a street with all $100k houses, or a million dollar house on a street with all $4m houses.  Most chose the $400k house – the smaller house, but the biggest on its street.

Who are you competing with?  Does your fulfillment come from comparison (better than the competition) or progress (better than yesterday’s version of me)?

I’m no authority on what’s “right”, but I bet we both know which one is the healthier mindset.

Focus on BEing

I witness so many personal and online complaints that there aren’t any “great guys/girls” out there. Or that there aren’t any “good jobs” available.  It’s a choice to believe that, and to continually seek evidence that confirms it.

Another choice is to consider what YOU would bring to each relationship, and focus on BEING a person that a great girl (whatever your definition) would aspire to be with. Be a professional with the attitude (most importantly) and the skills that an employer would be crazy not to hire. Then consciously and confidently seek out a proper fit.

Proactively searching for the fit that you want is constructive. Start with you.