Being Happy….

I have always loved books on positivity and was fortunate enough to attend an event last week organised by the YPO/Entrepreneurial Exchange . The workshop was hosted by one of the YPO’s best speakers Shawn Achor, author of the highly acclaimed ‘The Happiness Advantage’. He is a former Harvard lecturer and has studied the principals of being positive and happy within the home and work place.

At this well organised event, which was attended by various managers and directors from leading organisations, he taught us the principles of being happy and shared with us the seven patterns that predict success and happiness. His book covers it in far greater detail but the seven patterns involve:

1. Meditation

“Neuroscientists have found that monks who spend years meditating actually grow there prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain most responsible for being happy.”
I tried this last night with my 3 year old son and 5 year old daughter…. I think I’ll try it again tonight on my own!
At work our breakout room is a work-free zone where work-talk is banned and we can all recharge , so I might try meditating there too! 

2. Find Something To Look Forward To

“One study highlighted in the book showed that people who just thought about watching their favourite movie actually increased their endorphin levels by 27 percent.”
I have booked the Beauty and the Beast at the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh on December for my son Isaac’s 4th birthday  and booked in excellent meetings with key clients in Aberdeen to discuss critical roles they are looking to fill. What are you looking forward to?

3. Commit Conscious Acts of Kindness

“Loads of studies show that acts of kindness – given to friends and strangers alike – decrease stress and strongly contribute to enhanced mental health.”
I made my colleague Anne Marie a cup of tea when I saw her car arrive in the car park this morning. It was waiting on her desk for when she entered the office!

4. Infuse Positivity Into Your Surroundings

“Our physical environment can have an enormous impact on our health and sense of well-being.”
We have recently decorated our kitchen/dining room at our house pink and purple! We’ve been told it has a definite boudoir feel! Great room for sitting in to read the papers and listen to music! 
And in our Livingston Office we are currently hanging new prints in the main room themed around messages from our recent company event to add a bit of humour and colour.

5. Exercise

“Physical activity can boost our mood and work performance in a number of important ways.”
I have trained in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) for the last two and half years. Trust me it is a very demanding sport and is great for switching off from recruitment!

6. Spend Money (But not on stuff!)

“It has been studied that spending money on experiences, especially ones with other people, produces positive emotions that are both meaningful and long lasting.”
I feel great about having booked the panto for me, the wife and the kids!  And at our recent end of year event we hired in people that taught us circus tricks like juggling and riding unicycles which was very much a shared experience! (you can see a few photos on our Facebook page)

7. Exercise Signature Strength

“Each time we use a skill, what ever it is, we experience a burst of positivity. If you find yourself in need of a happiness booster, revisit a talent that you haven’t used in a while.”
I get a boost from being positive and completing this blog, having put off writing a new post for a while, has given me a definite lift!

These patterns if practiced and developed over a period can change your patterns of behaviour and if practiced often enough you can become a happier person as a result of it.
The recruitment industry can be a very demanding place and I have already been using some of these behaviours  (I may have picked some of them up from previous books I’ve read or perhaps I am naturally a happy guy!) and the others I have decided to embrace.

I’ll keep you updated with how I get on……

You can see a selection of other books Paul recommends on his LinkedIn page and if you have recommendations you’d like to share contact us at or mention them in the comments below.


4 thoughts on “Being Happy….

  1. Anonymous

    Great blog Paul! I agree you (and your lovely wife) are extremely positive people and definitely practice what you preach! A great example of putting into practice all of the above! 🙂


  2. Scott Cameron

    Agree largely with what you’ve said. For me it starts with always replying positively when someone asks “How r u”? I never say ” no bad” even if I don’t feel that great inside. A positive outlook will help set you apart especially at interviews.



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