How to Be Happy and Successful, Backed by Science

Flowers and happiness

You might have heard Ben Sweetland’s quote before:

Happiness is a journey,
not a destination

However, people often behave like happiness is a destination. Many believe that if they work harder they become more successful and when they become successful then they will be happier. They reach their goal but immediately the brain raises its bars and wants more success and because of this they have not yet reached the destination of happiness. Have you experienced this?

If so I have very good news for you. This formula is backwards. The correct formula is that happiness comes first and it leads to success.

How a positive brain performs better

Research has indicated that when our brain is positive, it performs significantly better than when neutral or negative. Our intelligence rises, creativity rises, energy level rises, and in fact every single business outcome improves.

If we can find a way to be positive right now we can work faster, more efficiently and more intelligently.

5 scientific ways to be more positive

Thanks to several researchers, scientific ways to train your brain to become more positive have been found. These include the following:

What do you say, is it worth taking time every day to perform the above activities and become more positive and successful?

How to get started

If you want to implement a new habit, it can be useful to connect it with something you are already doing. I connect two of these activities with having breakfast.

Before breakfast I follow a meditation program on my phone called Take 10 by Headspace, then I have my breakfast and afterwards it takes me about a minute or two to write down three things every day that I am grateful for. I love reading this book from time to time.

According to research we can rewire our brain in 21 days and I have noticed how my brain is now more often than before looking for the positive so I can write that down in my book :)

Another option is to receive an email everyday from Hapyr that reminds you of writing down three things everyday that you are grateful for.

What can you do right now to become more positive?

Will you set a reminder to meditate? Will you find a book and a pen to write down what you are grateful for? Will you make your exercise clothing ready for tomorrow? Will you perform a random act of kindness right now by sending someone a thank you email or even a link to this article?

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You can learn more about the science of happiness in this great TED talk where psychologist Shawn Achor talks about the happy secret to better work:

(Video link)

P.S. If you liked this post, you might also like 4 Simple Ways to Be Happier and Simple Meditation Technique for the Healthy Entrepreneur.

About Birna Birgisdóttir

Birna Birgisdóttir is a Ph.D candidate, researching creativity and servant leadership. She enjoys learning new things and has a M.Sc. in International Business, B.Sc. in Business Administration, diploma in Human Resource Management and she is an Executive Coach as well as NLP Practitioner.

Birna loves new adventures; has travelled the world, scuba dived in Mexico, skydived in Las Vegas, surfed in Australia, meditated in India and climbed the highest peak in Iceland.


  1. I value your perspective on positive energy, and I would like to read the research you refer to in this article. Can you point me to that resource?


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