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Your formula for Success and Happiness in the New Year

Formula - Success

As 2010 recedes into the past and we look ahead to 2011, it is a great time to pause and reflect. a Time to assess how you are doing against your personal “strategic plan”.

Our big question for the new year is, are you happy with your success equation?

In our leadership development programs we spend some time working on the individual leadership skills and inevitably the question of “balance” and success always comes up.

What does Success really mean? How do you achieve it? What does it mean to be happy with your work and your family?

At BLI we think of it as a life well-lived and integrated very much like this quote from Forbes.com:

“In a life well lived, each succeeding day becomes better than the last. Each day, each year, each experience does not stand alone; it cannot be separated from what has happened before or what may happen after. Yesterday determines today, and today helps determine tomorrow.

– John Homer Miller

In our M2M-Mind to Matter Leadership programwe emphasize an integrated approach – your work life, personal life, and family life should be intentionally developed and focused on to achieve happiness and success. Instead of balance, we prefer an “integrated life.”

The formula pictured above is used by BLI strategic partner, Gretchen Pisano to show the four elements of a successful, “happy” life:

  1. Positive Emotion – satisfaction and pleasurable experiences
  2. Relationships with Others – “the connected life”
  3. Meaning & Purpose – belonging to something greater than yourself
  4. Positive Accomplishments – your own measures both subjective and objective

They are shown as elements like a molecular equation and the “weight” is a total (16) that you must distribute among each element. The picture shows a “balanced” molecule, when the reality is that the weight per each element is often unequal. Each element contributes to well-being, is pursued for its own sake, and is defined and measured independently of the others.

The key to success is consciously managing the allocation of the “weight” you are giving to each element at any point in time and throughout your life.

For example, suppose you are totally focused on career accomplishments at the expense of the other three elements? That would look like Pe1 Ro1 Mp3 Pa11. This is the person who wakes up one day very successful but lacking in the other three elements and suddenly does not feel successful anymore.

What would happen if you were all about Positive Emotion (Pe)? This is often some form of addictive behavior when it is not balanced with the other elements.

The key is knowing when and why you are unbalancing the elements and then carefully reallocating the weight over time.

So, what does your success equation look like for last year? What should you be focusing on for the upcoming year? Do you need to reallocate or re-balance?

This work is comes from the latest research on “happiness” from Martin Seligman and the Positive Psychology Movement at UPennwhere Gretchen finished up her Master's in Applied Positive Psychology.

Look for our M2M: MInd to Matter workshop and our Leadership Academy programs to learn more. I hope some of our recent participants will post some of their thoughts below.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year in 2011! 

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