Positive Psychology and how the giver gains.
Traditionally we have been brought up to believe that if we work hard, we achieve more and then we might get the things we want and be happy. But research over the past 12 years into the life habits and thinking of people who are successful, happy and fulfilled in all aspects of their lives reveals that we have this the wrong way round.
This research shows very clearly that the happiest people – or those that live fulfilled lives and have achieved consistently – they worked on being happy first. It is only when we take time to be grateful for what we already have, appreciate the strengths we have and look for the good around us that we start to spot opportunities. We start to be more pro-active and find that better things come our way.
We go into crisis situations (because life still happens!) with a calm knowledge that no matter how bad it gets, we will survive and we will be ok.
You may not be surprised, after all there have been motivational speakers and Far East philosophies producing the same recommendations for decades and centuries. The difference is, some people actually do something with that knowledge and understanding.
What can I get? Or what can I give?
Givers’ Gain has become the motto for many small business groups because they find that people in business who are helpful and bring new customers to me – tend to in return gain even more. By giving, they end up gaining. This is again not a new way of thinking. Far East philosophies, karma – these messages have been around for a long time.
Perhaps what’s new is that we now understand a bit better why this works. For a start, giving feels good – so we actually gain at the time of giving, not just when someone does something nice for us in return. The same part of the brain that lights up when we receive a treasured gift is activated when we do things for other people. So that’s a great start – it feels good to give.
Then add on top of that how good the other person feels when they return the favour – or give something to us. This is why it is great to start with giving – we feel good, other people feel good and ultimately we’re likely to gain in the long run too.