Every so often, I am lucky enough to get to write for Fulfillment Daily, a publication that features science-backed news for a happier life. With articles titled, “The Key to Living Like The Happiest People On Earth” & “Why Happiness Is Found When You’re Not Looking For It” you don’t have to look far to see that the site knows a thing or two about happiness.
That, in large part, is thanks to the site’s founder, Emma Seppälä. Not only does Emma frequently contribute to Fulfillment Daily, but she also doubles as Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.
If there is anyone who knows how people can find happiness, it is her.
Lucky for us, Emma has written a book, titled The Happiness Track, where she shares what she has learned and teaches how we all can apply the science of happiness to accelerate our success.
I just finished the book and was blown away by the fantastic material. I encourage all of you to get the book and see for yourself. To whet your appetite, here are my favorite lines:
Top 10 Lines From The Happiness Track by Emma Seppälä
10. “But isn’t the point of all that hard work and suffering to be happy? Isn’t the idea that success will bring happiness?”
We rush though our lives and end up tired, stressed and unhappy. We think if we want to be happy, we need to work 24/7. Emma details why the thought that we can never stop accomplishing is one of the 6 myths of success.
9. “Just like a cat who chases a toy but loses interest as soon as he catches it, when we finally get what we want – receiving a big end-of-year bonus, finding the perfect job, or even winning the lottery – we often find that we are not as happy as we thought we would be.”
Science has proven that we are bad at predicting what will make us happy. But not all is gloom and doom. The Happiness Track discusses how we can avoid feeling like a cat chasing a toy by living in the present.
8. “It’s often not the things on your to-do list that lead to stress. It’s your worry about getting them done.”
As someone who creates many to-do lists, I can definitely attest to this. The longer an item stays on the list, the more I start to worry. And the more I worry, the more stressed I become. Emma explains how worry such as this is linked to fatigue. To combat that fatigue, she talks about how we can manage our energy by staying calm.
7. “Rather than thinking of work as work, reframe it by thinking of what you love about it.”
A great chapter in the book details why we need to remember the big picture and focus on the why, not the how. Our ability to do this will help us remember the reasons we care about doing this work in the first place.
6. “In a time and age when everyone is overscheduled and overfocused, creativity is more and more prized – it’s the key to your effectiveness and success, in life and in business, and it can be a never-ending source of joy and happiness.”
Believe it or not, Emma explains how doing nothing leads to creativity.
5. “If we don’t give our minds a break, they cannot engage in the kind of idle activity that leads to creative inspiration.”
Similar to #6, the book shows the importance of purposeful mind-wandering – choosing to take idle time to let your mind unfocus.
4. “Doing something boring to think more creatively sounds counterintuitive – but it works.”
Ever wonder why are we hit with great ideas in the shower? Emma writes that when the mind is partially engaged, its resources are not overly taxed. It is free to make connections and allow original ideas to bubble up to the surface. Makes me want to take a shower!
3. Our best work comes when we “can hear something deeper than the clatter of the world.”
Just as an artist needs to step back from the canvas, we need to spend time doing nothing and get away from the noisy world. Through research, we see why we should embrace silence and let ideas percolate.
2. “No matter what challenges are thrown our way, it is up to us whether we embrace the gifts that life brings to us and that we bring to it – or be blind to them.”
What can we do to avoid being blind? The Happiness Track says it is all about gratitude. Our ability to be grateful will make us happier and more successful.
1. “Research suggests that self-focus harms you in four ways: it creates blind spots, ruins your relationships, makes you weak in the face of failure, and damages your health.”
Rather than being self-focused, the book explains that we need to be other-focused. We can succeed through compassion. Sound hard? Science actually shows that we are naturally wired to be other-focused. This is because compassion benefits you and everyone around you. And because this book has it all, Emma offers ways we can increase our compassion.