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Being productive is not productive. Being content is productive

Have a productive day!

That was the way that one of our clients used to finish daily stand-up calls.

From my point of view, that was one of the worst wishes you could ever receive.

You may ask why?

Because productivity is not a core value for humans beings.

If your main life goal is to be productive, I think there is probably something wrong. And probably you are not so productive at all.

The society says: work hard to become a successful person. Then, when you succeed you will be happy.

But this is bullshit. Bad assumption. Being rich and successful can have a positive impact only in a short term. But in a long time perspective, there is no difference. You can see it in gossip portals. Many famous, successful people are unhappy. They are overdosing drugs or abuse alcohol to kill unpleasant feelings.

Positive psychology confirms that issue. The explanation is simple. Since you can always be more successful and richer. There is always another goal to achieve. To be richer. To be more successful. To work harder. To be more productive.

It looks like the formula work hard -> be successful -> be happy is not working at all. And this is good news. Because it is really hard to work with 100% productivity all the time. It is impossible to win all the time. So it is good news that it is not required to be happy.

So what we have to do to become happy?

The positive psychology says that there is only one factor required to be happy. It is to be happy. It is an internal decision. Your internal feeling. The state of mind that doesn’t have many connections with the outside factors.

In short term success can make you happier. At the same time, hard circumstances probably will make you unhappy in the short term.

But not in the long perspective. Researchers show that there is no difference in the subjective level of happiness. Disabled person and lottery winner will feel the same way one year after their life changing experience.

It shows that people on the quite opposite spectrum of the life circumstances can be equally happy. It also works another way. You and your friend can have very similar life factors. One of you can be happy with this. The second one can judge it as a poor life.

The conclusion is being productive, hard working and being successful is not the way to be happy.

But what if being happy is the way to be successful?

Positive psychology states that’s true. If you are happy your brain and body work more efficiently. Low level of stress allows you to focus and use your entire energy on your task. Your happiness is the internal drive to take actions.

And there are 5 habits that help you build your internal happiness

Gratitude

Our economy is built on the creation of lack in people. Creation of new needs that promise you happiness as soon as you fulfill them. But there will be a next one. And a next one. Avoid commercials, celebrities or Instagram photos. Their role is to tell your ego that there is something missing in you.

Gratitude is opposite. It helps you to see all things you already have and be thankful for them. Remind yourself about three things: people, memories or experiences you are grateful for. You will focus on the things you have, not on a lack created by media.

Start and finish your day with finding 3 things you feel gratitude for.

Write your own journal

It helps you to have a better understanding of yourself. It helps to have a better connection with your values, dreams and goals. A journal is a form of a dialog with yourself. It allows you to see some patterns or needs that were hidden on a regular basis.

It will also be a reminder of your good moments. The best emotions and feelings you experienced. They are now on a paper (or in the cloud) so you can go back to these memories in hard times to find your power again.

A journal is also a good teacher that will help you to avoid repeating the same mistakes again, and again… and again

Exercise

For thousands of years, our survival depended on our strength, endurance and agility. Everyday activities required some physical action to be taken.

But in the last 200 years things changed a lot. Some days opening a beer and changing the TV station are your all activities.

We feel good when we are in motion. When our lungs and blood deliver more oxygen and energy to our brain, muscles and other organs. We are offspring of those who were running, climbing or swimming. The ones who were just sitting died eaten by predators.

Start with small steps like daily 20 minutes walk. You will feel a difference and start wanting more. To be more active. To be happier :)

Meditation

We have thousands of thoughts every single day. Most of us believe in thoughts. That they are true. That the world is exactly as our mind describes it. It is not true. We all live in the same world, but have different thoughts describing it. The territory is the same for all of us, but each person has a unique map of it in the mind. None of them are true. Most of them are even not ours. We took them unconsciously from our parents, school, society traditions, ads or politics propaganda.

Meditation helps us dissociate from thoughts. You will start to just observe them, not believe in them. Start with 5 minutes meditation per day. Just sit (it doesn’t have to be a lotus pose) and observe your thoughts. Don’t try to avoid them. Just notice there is some thought and don’t go deeper inside. For example, you can start thinking about dinner. Just notice this, don’t go deeper to think about who you should eat with, what and where.

Being kind to others

Kindness is good for you and your happiness for three strong reasons.

Psychologic theory of reciprocity is the first thing working for you. It states that people will repay you what you provided to them. If you are kind to others you can expect most of them will be kind to you as well.

The way how we look at the universe is the same we look at ourselves and vice versa. If we are kind to others we also think that other people and the world are kind as well.

Finally, you will like yourself more because you are a good kind of person. How can you not like such a good person as you?

TL;DR

Don’t struggle to be more productive. Focus on being more happy and content with your life.

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