Hanging out with people makes you better is important.  We all know this basic fact, but the question for all of us is, “What are we doing to nourish the current people in our lives that improve us, and how do we meet new friends that make us better?”

The answer can vary but the bottom line is basic:  you better be strategic about keeping and earning new friends.

The concept  of “Strategic Friendships” was made clear to me by my dad on his 80th Birthday.  It turns out my dad is a hipster with a ton of cool friends.  A ton.  And he’s 80!

At his birthday party — which featured a ton of booze, friends, and food — but not a single motivational speaker motivational speaker — my big brother and big sister and I were standing around looking at his huge collection of friends and we all admitted that were totally impressed not only at the number of his pals, but the quality of his friends.  These weren’t just people accepting free food;  they were pals.

Dad’s secret is that he’s been really strategic.  For the past 15 years, he’s had standing lunch groups.  On the first Monday of the month he meets with friends from his college, the 2nd Monday it’s pals he used to climb mountains with, then the 3rd Monday it’s a bunch of friends who just like each other. They call it Discussion Club.

The details aren’t important;  what is important is the lesson.  He meets regularly with people.  He’s invests his time because it’s a strategy.  It’s on purpose.  It’s a thing!

What does that mean for us?  It means we should do something today to nourish old friends, and cultivate new friends.  We should know it’s going to take a while.  That means that it takes time;  it takes years.  We saw the results at my dad’s birthday party one and a half decades after he started.  It takes patience.

So pick up the phone right now.  Send a text right now.  Go to lunch.  It’s worth it, and the long term pay off in your own happiness will amaze you — and your grown children.

Looking for a way to be happier?  In general?  Have more happiness at work?  Of course you would!  Make sure you have friends who make you better.  Start investing in those friendships now.  Brad Montgomery is a motivational speaker and keynote speaker who works across the country and around the world.  If you want to make YOUR meeting or convention epic, give us a call.  303.691.0726

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This post is easy.

Gratitude works.  It makes your life (and your job) better.

Ok…it’s not that easy, because many of my business clients dismiss gratitude because it seems too fluffy.  (See also Unicorns, Rainbows and Lollypops.)  I sense that because this tactic has been adopted by everybody from Oprah to the self-help-guru with the long beard (Ok, I made that one up, but you KNOW there are a few!), that it can’t be for them.

Just give in.  It works.  It’s been proven by Harvard.  Stanford.  Oxford.  You can deny and blow it off all you want, but this stuff is a  proven tactic for improving your quality of life … and your bottom line.

So what does this mean for you?  It means start having and noticing things, moments and people for which you are grateful right now.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/qgJRV5ImZG0″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Here are the instructions.  Easy Peasy.

1.  Notice 3 to 5 things every day for which you are grateful. All you have to do is quietly label them to yourself. E.g. “I’m really glad we are nearly done with the Acme project.”

2.  Remember that the degree of gratitude doesn’t matter for the brain science to work.  in other words, being grateful that there was a short line at Starbucks works just as well as being grateful for your good health. So go ahead and get petty… It still works. E.g., “I’m grateful that I get to go home at 5 PM and not 6 PM.”

3.  Do it regularly.   The pay off is very fast… It makes you scientifically happier starting TODAY.  But for even greater success make this a habit and notice the change in three or five days.

4. Give in. I know many of you think this technique is to light and fluffy to be relevant for you. But do you really want to deny the studies carried out by Ivy League PhD’s? Of course you don’t. Just get on the bandwagon and do it.

That’s it!   It is so ridiculously easy that this proven happiness technique seems to lightweight to be useful. But it’s easy. It’s something you can start immediately and quietly this instant. And best of all, for some skeptics like me, it’s backs in credible science from multiple sources.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_masonry_media_grid element_width=”3″ grid_id=”vc_gid:1463770499425-fda2f362-6f1c-4″ include=”5983,5982,5981,5984″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Here’s a specific happiness technique you can incorporate today:

Have as few expectations about the future as possible. 

The problem with having expectations about our future is that they often undermine success.

 

how-to-have-fun-at-prom

To oversimplify things, we have two expectations about the future.  Either it’s some level of fear, e.g.  “I’m anxious about this,”  or  “I’m worried about the upcoming event,” or we have over-blown optimistic expectations, (“This year’s vacation will be the best ever!” or  “When I get the raise I’ll be incredibly happy.”)   The crazy thing is that both styles of expectations are unhelpful to us.

Clearly, having fear (or even mild concerns) about the future sets up up poorly.  (And the worrying doesn’t help either.)  But having super positive expectations is problematic too.  Rarely are our super positive expectations met — hello dissappointment.

Example 1: High School Prom

Let’s talk about specifics.  Let’s talk Prom.  Every movie about High School has a perfect prom.  The decorations, the music, the friendship, the tender slow dance and that awesome kiss with the right person at the perfect time with the EPIC soundtrack.  So when our non-Hollywood kids head to prom, the expectations are high.  They’ve planned, spent more money than they have (“Thanks Dad!”), and staged elaborate photo shoots. They are pumped!


She expected nothing other than “It’s gonna be fun.”  What a great approach.


 

But realistically how do these real prom experiences work out?  Usually there is friend drama, many of the kids are on first dates with kids they barely know, often the awkward dates turn out to be duds, the fancy dinner is tepid, the conversation stalls, and the dance itself — featuring music that only the DJ likes — is missing everything that made the movie-version so magical.  Oh, and that emotionally charged first kiss?  Ick.  Not with this kid.   Bottom line:  real prom falls somewhere between  “It was ok” and a total bust.  No magic.  No violins.  No big deal.  It’s time to return thefootloose_dance tux.

Real prom is a disappointment. 

Why?

It’s impossible for real proms to meet our crazy, pop-culture-fueled expectations.  (In other words, nothing is as good as the barn dance in Footloose!”)

What If We Could Stage a Prom with No Expectations?

Recently, my family had the pleasure of hosting an Argentinian exchange student.  She is charming for a million reasons, one of which is that she has so few expectations of what to expect from American culture.

Abi went to prom with her American girlfriends.  (In other words, no awkward first-dates.)  She got dressed up, and was excited, but didn’t know much about what to expect.  Just that it was going to be fun.expectations

She had a blast  — Everything was new and surprising to her, and she was delighted. Getting dressed up?  Fun! Dinner?  Fun!  A ride in a limo with her buddies?  Awesome!  The dance itself?  Fantastic!

What struck me most about her experience was the complete contrast between her and all the Americans kids.  She expected nothing other than “It’s gonna be fun.”  What a great approach.

No expectations are better than lots of expectations.expectations2_360

So what does this mean for you?

Want to be stressed less?  Want to focus on where you are? (As opposed to thinking about where you should be, or where you have gone?)  Want to be happier?

Do your best to lower and simplify your expectations to “It’s gonna be fun.”  Not epic.  Not horrible.  No details.  Just fun.

Yup, you can plan.  Yes, you can even rent the limo.  (I’d take Uber.)  But in the end it’s best to admit that you really don’t know what “it” will be like and embrace it.

Imagine the the opposite and purposely raising expectations.   Imagine creating:

  • The best meeting in the history of meetings.
  • The greatest day of your life
  • The most satisfying holiday ever!

Or…

  • This meeting is going to be horrible
  • I hate holidays so the next two weeks will be really horrible
  • I know this “outing” will be miserable. I just know it.

Those are some pretty heavy expectations.  They ain’t gonna help.  Instead … Give yourself the gift of NO expectations.  Your chances of meeting those expectations are 100%.

 

comments


Leave us a comment below.  How do you manage YOUR expectations?  Can you give us an example of how too many expectations handicapped you?

 

I just got the nicest comment back from one of my very recent clients. Farm Bureau Financial ServicesAny of you who have been following me know that I feel very strongly about the power of happiness to improve and increase our bottom lines. But happiness is a devilish thing to measure when it comes to connecting it to anything financial.

But check out this amazing quote from my friend and client Larry at Farm Bureau Financial.

How cool is that!?

“I attribute Brad’s humorous keynote was the ignition point for our 2012 fourth quarter turn around, and incredible first quarter success this year.  We are green on all goals, and still laughing.  Don’t mistake his program for fluff.  He was side-splitting funny; But way more importantly he helped us EXCEED our difficult financial goals.  You can’t afford not to work with Brad”

—  Larry Riley, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Kansas

If you are looking for a motivational speaker who can speak to happiness and how it Farm-bureau-201275improves your bottom line give us a call. And if, like Larry, you are interested in knocking your financials out of the park. Give us a call quickly.

 

Looking for a motivational speaker for your event? Contact me here.

Yours,
Brad Montgomery, Motivational Speaker, Kansas Speaker, Happiness -and-your-bottom-line Speaker

As a motivational speaker I speak before hundreds or thousands Employee Engagement Statistics-resized-600of people every month. I love my job and feel very lucky to be part of that much laughter.

One of the best side effects of my job is that it is nearly impossible to tell other people to lighten up, be happy, and use levity and humor as a tool, and not have some of that spin back to me. For example, can you imagine telling thousands of people to lighten up and take themselves less seriously, and then yelling at the flight attendant? Neither can I, so I never do, and that’s part of what I love about my job.  I’m a professional Nice Guy!

Every now and then, I get a very special gift. I receive a letter from somebody in my audience. I suspect it is like the elementary school teacher who wonders if he or she makes any difference at all, and then some lanky 16 year old kid comes back to say thanks for inspiring him to read or to investigate fossils, or some other important nugget.

The elementary school teacher probably just melts in her shoes.  What a gift!  A simple thank you.

Such was the case when I got this amazing letter from someone who was part of a company I worked for in Texas.  This company was so unusual, sofunny motivational speakers purposeful in their pursuit of ways to make work fun and interesting.  Generally my job is to help companies or organizations see the importance of happiness and fun at work, and how that happiness can directly relate to better bottom line results.  But in this case I was preaching to the choir.  This was a company filled with people who already knew how to have fun at work.  They had it down!  It might sound trite or cliché but I learned as much from them as they learned from me. It was an honor.

Here’s the letter. It made me feel good and very happy to receive.

Hi Brad,

Im sure you get this all the time but from what I could tell of your personality Im sure it never gets old for you so….

I just wanted to say Thank You for coming to talk to us and let you know how much not only I, but our entire company, enjoyed your presentation.  I can walk down the hallway and still hear people talking about it and laughing.  You have given us a sense of rejuvenation by showing us how to accept happiness in our work and it has already started to translate into a healthier environment.  You have been given a gift, and I wish the very best for you in your business and life endeavors, because I know now how much joy you can bring to peoples’ lives.  Take care and I hope we meet again sometime down the road.  If nothing else, at least you have over a hundred new friends that can help you if you ever need an AC Drive–HOW COOL IS THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!  :)

Johnnie S.
Last name and company withheld.
Dallas, Texas

Johnnie, you absolutely made my day. Thanks for taking time out of your life to lift other people up – in this case me.

And that’s my point:  Johnnie is a good role model. Who can you compliment or thank today that will make them feel as good as Johnnie made me feel?  Thankfulness is a powerful tool and an awesome motivator.  It works on both the giver and the receiver.

So share some thankfulness and motivation today.  Start what I call a Joy Loop, and get back as much good feelings as you give.  It worked for me!

If you or your organization needs a boost and a reminder about the power of happiness at work, or is looking for a funny motivational speaker who can both motivate and entertain. I hope you’ll give us a call.

Here’s a short video clip of the flash mob we did with Johnnie and his organization there in Texas. Can you believe we did a flash mob for a corporate outing? Look at their faces and tell me you don’t want that for your group. :-)

Looking for a motivational speaker for your event? Contact me here.

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Speaker, Texas Speaker, Totally Flattered Dude!

What an interesting phrase: “Misery loves company.” It seems miseryboth true, and yet faintly ridiculous. How can anybody who’s miserable want company? When I’m miserable, all I want is to be left alone, curled in a little ball on my bed, sucking my thumb and clutching my baby blankie. Okay, maybe not really, but you get the idea. Don’t bother me—I’m miserable!

And yet . . . don’t we all know those people, those people at work who meander from work station to work station, carrying a tale of woe? They seem somehow compelled to repeat their litany of injustices done to them, their stories of unfairness, how they hate their job, why they’d quit tomorrow, but just can’t, how the boss hates them, and on and on. When you see the miserable person coming, you quick duck down a hallway, or into the bathroom (hoping you got the right one). Often you will see a small herd of people diving into cubicles or closets in advance of the miserable person’s approach. Have you ever seen a cubicle filled with thirty-five co-workers, all stacked up on the desk, under chairs, wedged into corners, hoping against hope that the miserable person will walk on by without noticing? It ain’t pretty.

So it would seem that while misery indeed does love company, the company doesn’t necessarily love the misery. What can you do?
Well, you can keep running and keep hiding, for one. But sooner or later, you’re going to round the corner and –smack!—run right into the MP. (That stands for Miserable Person, in case you didn’t get it.) And then you’re stuck. Stuck listening to the newest versions of how ABC Co. is sticking it to the MP and the world is going to hell in a hand-basket.

You can use, the “I gotta go,” excuse. “Sorry, MP, wish I could stay and chat, but I gotta go [fill in the blank—pee, meet with the boss, copy these reports, climb a tree, change into my superhero costume and save the world,etc., etc.]” Unfortunately the MP might just follow you.

You could sprinkle fairy dust on them and hope they turn into Happy Person. Happy Person is much more fun, and fun to meet in the hallway, than Miserable Person. Wouldn’t it be great if we could change MPs into HPs? I don’t know if it’s possible, but it might be worth a try. If you’re brave, you might say, “MP, you seem down today. (You’re thinking: More like every day—heavy sarcasm) Why don’t you try some of these tips and techniques I learned from Brad Montgomery on how to be more positive in the work place. You see, it’s scientifically proven that positive, upbeat people live longer and are healthier than unhappy, negative people. You want to live longer, don’t you?”

It is true that those who report being more satisfied with life do tend to be healthier, which in turn, leads to longevity in life. (See this article on WebMD.  Moreover, negative emotions like anger and anxiety can lead to chronic health conditions like heart disease or stroke. (See this article at Harvard Public Health.

Motivational Speaker Brad Montgomery

Motivational Speaker Brad Montgomery

So I guess it’s true that misery loves company. The bad kind of company like hospitals and doctors and nursing homes.

If misery loves company, then what about happiness? Does it love company too? What I know for sure is that companies love happiness, because happy employees lead to bigger bottom lines. Happy employees have longer life spans, have better health, are more likely to be in happy marriages or partnerships, all of which complete the circle and make employees happier at work. (See this article in the Huffington Post. )

Best of all, meaningful work makes happier employees, which results in better workers and higher productivity. (See this article at the New York Times. ) This is called employee engagement. Employees who are engaged in their work are happier overall, and are the best kind of employees to have.

How do you get employee engagement? Well, one way is to use my fool-proof, time-tested techniques and tips of the happiness trade to both motivate and inspire employees to create the best kind of job satisfaction they can have. The kind that comes from inside. The kind that says we are proud of what we do and we want to share it.

So spread the news! Satisfaction at work creates satisfied employees, who are more productive and create satisfied managers. Satisfied managers create happier CEOs. And happier CEOs create better products, which lead to happier consumers buying more stuff, which leads to a stronger economy. (Why isn’t Obama’s or Romney’s team talking to me?!!!) And that’s the answer to the age-old question, “If misery loves company, what then does happiness love?” The answer? Happiness loves companies! And companies love happiness.

Get on board the happiness train today. Call Brad Montgomery, happiness speaker, motivational humorist, and all around great guy. He speaks on creating happiness in the workplace, creating positive work-life balance, and most of all, creating positive, encouraging, engaged employees who care about what they do and who they work with.  Call today to book motivational Speaker Brad Montgomery.

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Sad Sack just made crappy decisions.Sad sack

We’ve all said it: “Adjust your attitude.” “Make that frown turn upside down.” “Don’t worry. Be happy.” “Why are you always in such a bad mood?”

And then, of course, comes the classic response, “I can’t help it. It’s just the way I am.”

What that means is, “I can’t change. I’m just being me, and the me I am is a sad sack.” (How can a sack be sad, anyway?*)

Well, turns out, that’s not entirely true. Turns out, actually, that we have more control over our attitude than we ever thought. Who says? Social Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky says, that’s who.

And just who is Sonja Lyubomirsky, and why does she think she knows so much? Because she’s Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.d., researcher at Stanford University, super-smarty-pants, recipient of numerous grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, and author of the book, The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want (Penguin Books 2007).

And it’s not just her. Many social psychologists have studied the mystery surrounding what it is that exactly makes us happy, or un-happy as the case may be. Dr. L’s bibliography in her book is 45 pages long! That’s a lot of books, articles, speeches and research on the how’s and why’s of happiness.

If you don’t want to read all the research, here’s the Cliffs Notes:

There are three things going on when it comes to a person’s happiness or contentment:

  1. Genetic predisposition. Yep, you got it. A person’s genes (and not the 501 kind either) sets out his or her baseline on the Happy-o-Meter (a highly technical piece of scientific, specialized, calibrated, opinionated measuring equipment). Dr. L. says that 50% of a person’s contentment comes from their parents, and their grandparents, and their great-grandparents, and on and on—and not in the way you think, like the nagging, the guilt, the “I just hope you’re wearing clean underwear,” kind either. (What’s with all the underwear references, anyway?). In other words, your inherited temperament or personality does account for 50% of your happiness.

  2. Life circumstances. You know what these are. How much money you have; what kind of family were you born into; how good or not-so-good is your health; do you have a sick spouse, or naughty children; whether you live on top of a Superfund site; whether your underwear is clean (just kidding); you know, those kinds of things. Turns out “those things” have direct impact on how happy we are, but not, interestingly enough, a lot. These mostly out-of-our-control type of life circumstances have an approximately 10% impact on our happiness level, says the Happy-o-Meter.

  3. How we think and what we do. That’s the final thing. Our attitude. Our thoughts. Our outlook. If you’ve been doing the math, it turns out that 40% of our happiness is dependent upon our attitude.

Wow! That’s a lot of percents!  Our attitude, which we do get to control, accounts for 40% of our happiness according to the Happy-o-Meter. (The Happy-o-Meter is good at third grade math.)

The Best News to Hit Your Attitude All Year Long

This is fabulous news. We can’t control some things, but good old number three on the list up there, we can control. Even big things like tragedy or winning the lottery only dictate 10% of what makes us happy. (Well, in my case, winning a 10 million dollar lottery prize would make me 100% happier, but Dr. L. never asked me.)

Happiness Speaker Brad Montgomery at Lockheed Martin

What?! you say. That can’t be true. Winning the lottery would make anybody really, really happy, including all the people Dr. L did ask!. Probably 200% happier. (Ignore the frown from your fourth grade math teacher.)

But guess what? Dr. L says, things settle over time. People can be wildly unhappy or happy for moments in time, but after a while they settle and their happiness level goes back to baseline. Even if they win the $10 million. Even if a satellite crashes into their backyard ruining the newly installed patio. Or even if their chihuahua falls into a pothole and has to be retrieved by a fireman.

Good news is that we can control the 40%. How we think and what we do. For me this is excellent news. Forty percent is enough to take a really horrible day and make it only “bad.” I have the power to turn my day from horrible to bad. From bad into average. Or from average into outstanding. I have the power! (Remember that song? Sing it now. You have the Power!)

So what does this mean? Well, for one thing, turns out your grandma was right: you can turn your frown upside down. (Grandma would have been awesome in the workplace.) You can listen to reggae: Don’t worry. Be happy. You can adjust your attitude almost as much as you can adjust your underwear. (I can adjust my underwear 40%, no problem.) Right now if you want to be happy, remember how much is up to you. Stop whining. Start smiling. Focus on what you do and how you think. Not rocket science. Common sense.

And guess what else? If you’re going through a difficult time, a tragedy, a medical crisis, or fielding any of the rotten tomatoes life throws, knowing that you can control your response to it helps. You will get through it, you will heal, and you will rise back up to your average norm for happiness. It’s your response, your willingness to hit that Reset Button on the Happy-o-Meter, that really counts.

Extra Credit Question: What are you doing with your 40%? Are you making the right choices? Our control is greater than we would guess. Get up and start being happy now.

Motivational Speaker & Happiness Speaker

Book Brad to speak at your meeting, convention or event. — He’s a happiness speaker; and he’s funny. Are you looking for a motivational speaker who speaks about happiness and who gives specific tools and strategies for boosting your psyche, then consider Brad Montgomery, controller of his own 40%. He’s the only happiness speaker he knows.

* According to Wikipedia, The Sad Sack is an American fictional comic strip and comic book character created by Sgt. George Baker during World War II. Set in the United States Army, Sad Sack depicted an otherwise unnamed, lowly private experiencing some of the absurdities and humiliations of military life. The title was a euphemistic shortening of the military slang “sad sack of shit”, common during WWII. (Do you really want to be known as a “sad sack of shit”? I mean, really? Your grandmother would NOT approve.)

Looking for a Funny speaker who is motivating AND is an expert in how to be happy at work? for your event? Contact me here.

Yours,
Brad Montgomery
Motivational Speaker on Happiness, Humorist, Seminar Leader

I was recently in Detroit at 5 AM and had a remarkable interaction with a woman at Starbucks. She should be the motivational speaker…not me. Check out this video I recorded with my phone — which is code for, “calm down, I know the quality isn’t that great!”

Looking for a motivational speaker for your event? Contact me here.

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Speaker, Inspirational Speaker, Fan of Detroit!

For people who prefer to read, here is the transcript:

Howdy. I’m Brad Montgomery. BradMontgomery.com. I’m still in happiness speakerthe Detroit airport. I wanted to put up one more video for you because I was struck yesterday with another person that really has figured out humor in the workplace. She works at Starbucks. She works in the airport. She works at Dallas-Ft. Worth. Alright, so you know how it is, you go to, we’ve all been to somewhere and boughten a drink. It’s no big deal. It is a big deal with this woman because she just made, she just owned this whole concourse. She owned the concourse. She was like the queen of Dallas-Ft. Worth airport. She was like holding forth at Starbucks and she was calling everybody up, “Hey how are you doing? Get up here! How are you? What are you doing? Where are you going?” Just a super unbelievably friendly woman. So as is my habit, I asked her, “What’s the deal? You know, how do you do this? How do you stay happy when it seems like people around you are not so happy with their job?” And she said, “Oh it’s up to me, baby. But really what makes me happy is making you happy.” It’s so simple, but it’s so cool. So social psychologists are going to call this flow, motivational speakers are going to call this motivation, customer service experts are going to call this, you know like “she’s in the zone, she’s doing her thing.” But I think what really struck me is that she knows what keeps her happy and she knows that when she invests in other people, the payback is twofold. Not only are her customers happy, I was thrilled. She called me baby. I loved it. “Okay, here’s your coffee, baby”. I loved it. Not only did she make her customers happy, but I’m in the airport, can you hear me talking? Not only did she keep her customers happy, but she keeps herself happy. By delivering service, she feels served. It’s just so, it’s such a basic truth, but it’s so easy to forget. So here is my challenge to you. What are you doing today to help others? And if you’re thinking you are having a crappy day, maybe the way out of your crappy day is to deliver excellent service to your teammate, to your managers, to the people who you’re managing, to your customers, to the people you are trying to sell. How can you make it better for them? And I think that what this woman at Starbucks is going to teach us is that by doing that, it will make it better for you. Happiness at work equals excellence at work. It’s so cool. Serve others, you become happy. Love it! Alright, Brad Montgomery. BradMontgomery.com. Thanks for being here.

happinessOk, not exactly.   I’m pretty sure that’s not what the study meant.  Read on…

Happiness at work is a great idea:   it is related to greater employee engagement and — in the end — an increase in productivity.  Besides, who really wants to hate work?

But researchers at Columbia University have linked happiness to health.  To avoid heart attacks, we should add happiness to the list that includes limiting out intake of cigarette smoke and cheeseburgers.

I’m not a doctor, but I’m guessing that this study doesn’t mean we can eat more junk food if we are happy.  But it does lend a bit of power to the notion that investing thought and energy in creating joy and happiness for ourselves and our work environments makes a ton of sense.  How many total miserable jerks out there that exercise regularly and shop in the health food stores, but would never consider trying to make themselves — and their families and workmates — happier?  Ironic.

Here’s an excerpt from the Associated Press:

After a decade, they examined the 145 people who developed a heart problem and found happier people were less likely to have had one.
The study was published online Thursday in the European Heart Journal.
“If you aren’t naturally a happy person, just try acting like one,” said Dr. Karina Davidson of Columbia University Medical Center, the paper’s lead author. “It could help your heart.”

Yeah sure, this stuff is common sense.  But seeing that science proves what we sense (whether you’re Spiderman or a Jedi) to be true is cool.

So…. Pick Happy.   You’ll work better.  And you’ll live longer.   And you can eat more cheeseburgers.   (Ok, not the last one.)

Want to be happier at work?  Want your work culture to foster more levity and more joy? Contact me here about being your motivational speaker or to work with your organization.

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Speaker, Comedian, Pretty Darned Happy Guy

This amazing story about good humor (and good grace) from one of my motivational speaker friends, Barbara Glanz.

In short, the story is about how civilian travelers voluntarily gave up their first class seats to the soldiers flying on board a commercial airliner. It’s hard not to feel good about it.

Check out this excerpt:

…Another young lady was seated in that row, and he img_mil_lgwas able to hear a bit of their conversation. The young man told her that he had just finished a tour in Iraq, was coming home on leave, and then would go back in several weeks.

As they were talking, a woman who had been seated in First Class, came back to the young man’s row, introduced herself, and asked him for his Boarding Pass. A bit puzzled, he handed it to her, at which point she, in turn, handed hers to him. She said, “I would like to trade seats with you.”

The young man immediately responded, “Oh, no, Ma’am, I couldn’t do that.”

She smiled a huge smile and said, “Oh, yes, you can, Soldier. It’s an order!”

So, as everyone around wiped teary eyes, the young man reached up for his backpack and went up to sit in First Class.

Read the entire story here.

What’s my point? We all have it in us to create happiness. And the amazing thing about creating happiness for others is that we end up happier ourselves. Sure, those soldiers felt great to be upgraded and recognized. But the individuals who traded seats with them — I imagine — felt as good or better. They knew they had been kind, and then knew they made a difference.

When you go out of your way to create joy or humor, and when you consciously make the people around you happier, the unavoidable result is more happiness for yourself.

In other words, it doesn’t matter how selfless you are, you end up getting as much as you give. Magic. And it’s very, very cool.

Next time you’re having a crappy day, GIVE some happiness. Buy the stranger behind you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Anonymously send a drink to a young couple in a restaurant. Or make a point to give somebody who never expected it a compliment. “I like your shoes,” goes farther than you probably think. (With some people, it goes REALLY far.)

Want to be happier? Then make somebody else happy. I guarantee it will work.

Need a speaker to talk about happiness as it relates to life and work? Want military motivational speaker? (And I don’t even need first class!) Contact me here.

Brad Montgomery
Funny Keynote Speaker, Happiness Expert, Lover of First Class

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