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Posts Tagged ‘Harvard’

In December 2008, Harvard University sociologist Dr. Nicholas Christakis and University of California, San Diego professor James Fowler published a study demonstrating that happiness is contagious.   
 
The study tracked almost 5,000 participants over 20 years, drawing connections between people and defining their “social networks”.  They concluded that like the flu, happiness can spread from one person to another.  In fact, they germs2found that when a good friend who lives close to you becomes happier, it increases the probability that you will be happy by 25%.  Even more surprising, the study found that this effect impacts friends of friends in diminishing amounts up to three degrees of separation.
 
In digging deeper into the data and the social networks, they concluded similar findings about obesity and smoking.  If one person became obese or stopped smoking, that person had a direct and similar impact on the connections around them in their network.
 
While they have not yet studied the network from the standpoint of success, is it that big of leap to think they might conclude the same findings for that characteristic?  Wouldn’t it make sense that as one person in a social network becomes more successful, so would those who surround that person?
 
With that possibility in mind, here are some ways one can become “infected” with success.
 
1) Just as when you want to get better at a sport coaches suggest playing with more skilled players, the same holds true here.  Immerse yourself in social networks of people who are at the level of success you wish to be.
2) Find and ask someone you admire if they would be willing to mentor you.
3) Continue to expand your mind and horizons with education and seminars.
4) Work with a coach to help you challenge your comfort zones and break from inertia and mediocrity.
5) Change any conscious or unconscious thoughts and beliefs that do not contribute to your success.

 

There is unlimited potential waiting to be unleashed in each and every one of us.  Why wait for others to infect you with success or happiness when you can be the one who is contagious and leading the way?  Now is your time to shine!

Spread the happiness!  Catch some success!

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