The numbers on why happiness is important

Perhaps the question I am posing is far too obvious: Is the effort and energy it takes to be happy worth it?

Maybe it is easier to be grumpy, disconnected and uninspired? The statistics, however, do not lie.

Suicide remains a major external cause of death, accounting for more deaths in Australia than transport accidents. In addition, about 20% of people will be affected by depression and 6% will experience a major depressive illness in Australia during their lifetime. That is one in five, which represents millions of people. And we consider ourselves the lucky country, a land of milk and honey, but not for a lot of people.

Shawn Achor tells us clearly in The Happiness Advantage why it is so important to be mindful about happiness. He says that it is paramount to put in place practices to create happiness – and it is absolutely worth it. It is not only about saving lives but enabling people to thrive and not just survive.

He says there are productivity gains – but also our experience of life transforms – so we are able to thrive.

Basically, if you are happy you are:

  • Likely to be three times more creative (Happiness inspires creativity)
  • 31% more productive
  • 40% more likely to receive a promotion (people like happy people)
  • 23% few fatigue symptoms
  • Up to 10% more engaged at work
  • 39% more likely to live to age 94
  • Likely to produce 37% greater sales

The numbers speak for themselves (and it makes good business sense too). If we started ‘thanking’ people, Australia would be a far happier place.

The happiest people don’t have everything – they just make the most of everything. Life is the coffee; not the cup.

The trick is how do we make it an Australian habit (or even global habit) to notice what is great around us and thank those people who made it happen. Let’s start with Five Thanks a Day.

Naomi Simson is considered to be one of Australia’s Best Bosses. An employee engagement advocate, she practises what she preaches in her own fast growth business. RedBalloon was named as one of only 13 BRW Best Employers in Australia in 2012 for four years in a row with an engagement scorecard of over 90% in each of those years – the average in Australian businesses is 54%.

One of Australia’s outstanding entrepreneurs, Naomi regularly entertains as a passionate speaker, a blogger and a published author, most recently publishing Five Thanks a Day. She has received many accolades and awards for the business she founded, including the 2011 Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year – Industry.



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