Entire sections of bookstores are dedicated to self-help and self-improvement. Many individuals dedicate hours and hours to the pursuit of happiness. They turn the focus inward and change their own behavior and habits and focus on the betterment of themselves. A recent Fast Company article contradicts this by stating that other people are the key to our happiness.
….Since we know that it’s our relationships—particularly with our bosses and colleagues—that determine how happy and successful we are as our careers progress, it may be worth asking some new questions. Instead of, “How can I improve?” the better question might be, “How can I start seeing more of the good in people, more often?”
In other words, trust that people have the best intentions, find the good in people and you will benefit. Seems simple, right? However, we are taught from an early age to be wary of strangers, keep to ourselves, don’t bother others and generally view situations with suspicion.
How do you shift this way of thinking? Practice. When you receive an email from a co-worker, friend, client or colleague don’t assume the worst and interpret a tone that isn’t there. Assume positive intent. See the good in people.
Research on optimism—including assuming the best of others—almost universally shows its benefits for success and satisfaction in both work and life.
By believing in the good of others, we ourselves will find happiness. Did I just sound like the Dalai Lama or what?