Be smart, be happy

Following our article about Shawn Achor and choosing to be happy, it seems that happiness is a good thing to focus on in January; at 10Eighty our motto is “work hard, do good and along the way have fun”.

Dr. Raj Raghunathan is a visiting professor of marketing at the Indian School of Business (ISB) and professor of marketing at the McCombs school of business at The University of Texas at Austin. A trip to India with a group of MBA students set him thinking about a couple of things he had noticed when meeting up with old college friends:

  • There is very little correlation between academic success and career success;
  • and an even lower correlation between career success and what you might call life success.

He wondered about the purpose of education, concluding that the ultimate purpose of education is to give students the tools and the skill sets required to lead a happy and fulfilling life, and of course to help other people do the same.

Among Dr. Raj’s findings:

  • The correlation between wealth and happiness is much smaller than you’d expect it to be
  • Generosity is not only a key to happiness, but a determining factor of long term success
  • Appreciating uncertainty, rather than seeking full control of outcomes, is necessary for happiness

He’s on YouTube talking about his latest book If You’re So Smart, Why aren’t You Happy?

What does it take to be happy?

Philosophers and psychologists have been working on this problem for centuries. Famously, Bhutan is the only country in the world to systematically measure GNH. Happy people are healthier and more compassionate, they also more productive which means that happier countries are likely to be more productive than their less happy counterparts, so you’d think we’d all be measuring the happiness of our societies.

Philosophers say happiness can be understood as the moral goal of life or as an aspect of chance; as either a state of mind, or a life that goes well for the person leading it. Plato asserts that those who are moral are the only ones who may be truly happy.

Positive psychology researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky describes happiness as “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.”


Greater Good in Action offer an overview of findings around happiness.

  • Happiness is good for our health: happy people are less likely to get sick, and h live longer.
  • Happiness is good for our relationships: happy people are more likely to get married and have fulfilling marriages, and they have more friends.
  • Happy people make more money and are more productive at work.
  • Happy people are more generous.
  • Happy people cope better with stress and trauma.
  • Happy people are more creative and are better able to see the big picture.

Remember, happiness makes people successful, rather than the other way around and happiness is within our control.

Michael is Chief Executive of 10Eighty. 10Eighty is a career and talent management consultancy that helps organizations maximize the contribution of their employees by ensuring satisfying jobs and careers for their employees. Michael is a Human Resources professional, having worked in the National Health Service, Insurance, Commodities and Derivatives industries. He has worked within the career coaching business for fifteen years, both managing a £7 million business and delivering bespoke, one to one career coaching. In the last 15 years Michael has run businesses that have helped 75,000 people make successful career transitions. He is a frequent commentator in the press/media, which includes a range of topics on “successfully managing your career” and talent management. Most recent media mentions have included BBC South, CNBC, Radio4, Financial Times, City AM, Financial News, Evening Standard, The Sunday Times, The Grapevine and HR Magazine, to name but a few. He writes a careers column for People Management, a blog for the Human Resources Magazine and is a regular contributor to The Thompson Reuters HR Portal. Michael is known as a thought provoking speaker in the HR industry. In the last 18 months, Michael spoke at the Careers Partner International Conference, NHS breakthrough conference, NHS North West Leadership Academy, London School of Economics, University of Westminster’s Talent Management Conference, ICAEW Finance Directors Conference, CIPD learning and development conference and CIPD branch seminars. He is also Chair of the CIPD’s Central London Branch. Additionally is a non executive director of Marshall ACM, an e-learning company and the Total Reward Group, a compensation and benefits consultancy. Michael plans to publish his book “The guide to everlasting employability” in the Autumn 2012. He has just launched an iphone app “careers snakes and ladders” and an online interactive version of the book in collaboration with Marshall ACM to coincide the launch of his new business 10Eighty. Michael has a degree in Economics, a MBA from Warwick Business School and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He holds an accreditation from the British Psychological Society for the use of psychometrics. Michael has completed the Fairplace Internal Accreditation Programme, the training element of which is externally recognised by the Association for Coaching. Michael Moran was until January 2012 Chief Executive of Fairplace and a main board director of Savile plc, the career and talent management consultancy. Fairplace is part of the Savile Group, an AIM listed plc. The Savile Group was placed 16th in the Sunday Times top 100 small companies in 2010.

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Michael Moran – CEO 10Eighty

A blog about career and talent management, things that might help you with your career and in your job.