Last week, I spent a couple days out on the West Coast at Western International Securities’ 2018 conference. Hall of Fame quarterback, Terry Bradshaw, was the featured speaker. He started off his keynote presentation by asking everyone to stand up and shake the hand of someone sitting near them. Then, he asked us to give someone else a hug. He also asked us to give someone a kiss – which thankfully was just a joke. We found out that very quickly that Bradshaw is full of them.
Bradshaw has a pretty impressive rap sheet:
- All-pro quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1970 – 1983)
- Played in eight, won six AFC Championship games (1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979)
- Won four Super Bowl rings as starting QB (Super Bowl IX, X, XIII, XIV)
- Two-time Super Bowl MVP
- Qualified for three Pro Bowl games
If you ask Bradshaw what his secret weapon is, he’ll tell you its happiness.
Financial planning is a serious business, and as we know, “this is a serious world”. Bradshaw reminded his audience of 300+ financial services professionals of a concept that we seem to lose as we age - “Everything you do in life should be for fun”.
And he is exactly right.
- Show superior performance and productivity
- Convert more leads
- Are less likely to burn out
- Handle leadership positions better
Profits, winning, and being a top producer are all a natural expansion of living a joyful life. Research also shows that happiness comes BEFORE successful outcomes, more than following as a result.
We all know that life is a roller coaster and our moods are the same way. Our attitudes are largely affected by genetics and external factors – but research shows that roughly 40% of our happiness is up to us. Either we create our happiness, or we don’t.
Today, I present you with 10 habits of Terry Bradshaw and other happy, highly productive people:
1. Express gratitude
I once heard a quote that says, “When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value.” How cool is that? Bradshaw shared in his keynote presentation that every single morning when he wakes up, he is thankful and thrilled to start the day. He said, "Today is undeserved, unexpected, and I am thrilled to start the day." AMEN!
2. Cultivate optimism
Winners are able to create and foster a positive mindset. Real optimism is finding a silver lining in every situation. Optimistic people see downfalls as opportunities. Surprise, surprise, Terry does this too. Every evening, before he goes to sleep, Terry Bradshaw reflects on his day and finds one good thing that happened to him.
3. Help others
Performing random acts of kindness releases serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins which are all feel-good chemicals. This phenomenon is what’s known as a “helper’s high”. Not only do happy people want to give back, but they have plenty to share. Those that act selflessly have higher levels of daily positive emotion, have better overall mental health, and handle stress better.
4. Nurture their relationships
Another Bradshaw quote: “Relationships are everything”. A study done by Harvard’s Department of Psychiatry on adult development followed hundreds of men for more than 70 years and concluded that the happiest (and healthiest) were those who nurtured strong relationships with people they trusted to support them. Close relationships require a commitment, a connection, a common purpose and theremore more fufillment and (you guessed it) happiness.
5. Surround themselves with the right people
Investing in relationships with just ANYONE isn’t enough. Know which friends make you feel uplifted, supported, loved and appreciated. Know which friends are interested in your success and increase your happiness. Nurture the relationships with the people who bring out the best in you.
6. Use their senses
Stop and smell the roses! People who slow down to appreciate the little things report feeling more satisfied on a day to day basis.
7. Get enough sleep
You heard me. That means a solid 7 - 9 hours a night.
You probably have first hand experience of a time when you've had a sleepless night and then been more irritable and vulnerable to stress. You've also probably seen that you bounce back pretty quick after a good night's sleep. Studies show that insomnia and lack of sleep is a relaible indicator of whether the individual has or will develop depression/anxiety disorders. So - you have my permission to go buy that $100 tempurpedic pillow. You're welcome.
I've actually recently (like this past week) made the switch to hitting the gym in the morning rather than at night. The 6 pm caffiene rush of pre workout was not doing me - or anyone else - any favors.
8. Exercise regularly
Speaking of hitting the gym - getting exercise is crucial to having and maintaing a good attitude. And you don't need to be an All-Pro NFL quarterback to reap the benefits of physical activity. Exercise triggers the release of endorphins, a chemical that reduces your perception of pain and creates positive feelings. That feeling, is known as a "runner's high" and typically comes with a re-energized and positive outlook on life.
And get this! Regular exercise will improve your sleep habits!
9. Have a growth mindset
Either you're someone who believes there is always room for improvement or someone who doesn't. People with a growth mindset believe that they can improves themselves and their situations with effort. As a result, they see obstables as opportunities and are less likely to be overwhelmed when they're in challenging situations. Those that cannot see stressful situations as growth opportunities are going to feel hopeless and stressed.
10. Make an effort to be happy
No one wakes up every single day in a fantastic mood, and even the HAPPIEST person you know is no exception. However, happy people are constantly evaluating their mood and making a contientous decision to be happy. A positive attitude can be difficult to maintain, but forming the right habits will pay off.
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