The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success 2016

by Emma Seppala





  • The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success by Emma Seppala is a book that explores how happiness can be used as a tool for success. The author argues that when we focus on our own well-being, it leads to greater productivity and creativity, which in turn leads to better results in all areas of life. She provides practical advice on how to cultivate happiness through mindfulness, self-care, relationships, work/life balance and more. Seppala also explains why traditional measures of success such as money or status are not necessarily linked with true satisfaction and fulfillment.

    Seppala begins by discussing the science behind happiness and its effects on physical health, mental health and overall performance. She then outlines her five steps for achieving lasting contentment: cultivating gratitude; developing resilience; creating meaningful connections; practicing self-compassion; and finding purposeful work. Throughout the book she offers tips for incorporating these practices into daily life.

    In addition to providing guidance on personal development strategies, Seppala also examines how organizations can create an environment where employees feel valued and supported so they can reach their full potential. She discusses ways employers can foster positive emotions at work such as offering flexible hours or allowing employees time off for volunteering activities. Finally she looks at how governments around the world are beginning to recognize the importance of promoting wellbeing among citizens.

    The Happiness Track is an inspiring read that encourages readers to prioritize their own wellbeing while striving towards success in all aspects of life. It provides valuable insight into both individual practices as well as organizational policies that promote employee engagement and satisfaction.

Main ideas:

  • #1.     Develop a Growth Mindset: A growth mindset is the belief that one’s abilities and intelligence can be developed over time. This idea is essential for success, as it allows individuals to take risks and learn from their mistakes.

    Developing a growth mindset is essential for success. It allows individuals to take risks and learn from their mistakes, rather than being afraid of failure or feeling discouraged by it. With a growth mindset, people are more likely to persist in the face of challenges and setbacks, as they understand that these experiences can help them grow and develop. Additionally, having a growth mindset helps people stay motivated even when progress is slow or difficult; they recognize that hard work will eventually pay off.

    In order to cultivate a growth mindset, it’s important to focus on effort rather than results. This means celebrating small successes along the way instead of only focusing on the end goal. It also involves reframing failures as learning opportunities – viewing them not as signs of personal inadequacy but as chances to gain new skills and knowledge. Finally, developing a growth mindset requires self-compassion: recognizing one’s own humanity and understanding that everyone makes mistakes.

  • #2.     Practice Self-Compassion: Self-compassion is the ability to be kind and understanding to oneself, even in the face of failure. It is important to recognize that mistakes are part of the learning process and to forgive oneself for them.

    Practicing self-compassion is an important part of living a happy and successful life. It involves recognizing that mistakes are inevitable, and being kind to oneself when they happen. Self-compassion also means understanding that everyone makes mistakes, so it’s not just you who has failed at something. This helps to put things into perspective and can help reduce feelings of guilt or shame.

    Self-compassion also involves taking the time to reflect on what went wrong in order to learn from the experience. Instead of beating yourself up for making a mistake, take some time to think about why it happened and how you could do better next time. This will help you grow as a person and become more resilient in the face of failure.

    Finally, practicing self-compassion means giving yourself permission to feel whatever emotions come up after making a mistake – whether it be sadness, anger or frustration – without judging them as “wrong” or “bad”. Acknowledging these feelings allows us to process them in healthy ways instead of bottling them up inside.

  • #3.     Cultivate Gratitude: Gratitude is the practice of recognizing and appreciating the good things in life. It can help to reduce stress and increase happiness.

    Cultivating gratitude is an important part of living a happy and fulfilling life. It involves recognizing the good things in our lives, no matter how small they may be, and expressing appreciation for them. This can include anything from appreciating a beautiful sunset to thanking someone for their help or support. Gratitude helps us to recognize that we have something to be thankful for even when times are tough.

    Practicing gratitude has been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels, increase happiness, improve relationships with others, and even boost physical health. Studies have shown that people who regularly practice gratitude experience more positive emotions such as joy and contentment than those who don’t. Additionally, grateful people tend to sleep better at night and feel more connected with their community.

    In order to cultivate gratitude in your life it is important to take time each day or week (or however often works best) to reflect on what you are thankful for. You can do this by writing down three things you are grateful for each day or taking some time out of your day just sit quietly and think about all the good things in your life. Doing this will help you become aware of all the wonderful blessings around you which will lead naturally into feelings of thankfulness.

  • #4.     Prioritize Sleep: Sleep is essential for physical and mental health. It is important to get enough sleep each night in order to be productive and successful.

    Prioritizing sleep is essential for physical and mental health. When we dont get enough sleep, our bodies become fatigued and our minds become foggy. This can lead to decreased productivity, impaired decision-making skills, and an overall decrease in quality of life. Its important to make sure that you are getting the recommended amount of sleep each night so that you can be productive during the day.

    In order to prioritize your sleep, its important to create a consistent bedtime routine. Going to bed at the same time every night helps your body adjust its internal clock so that it knows when its time for rest. Additionally, avoiding screens before bedtime will help reduce stimulation which can interfere with falling asleep quickly.

    Its also important to create a comfortable sleeping environment by keeping your bedroom dark and cool as well as free from distractions like noise or light from outside sources. Finally, if you find yourself having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night then consider talking with a doctor about potential solutions such as cognitive behavioral therapy or medications.

  • #5.     Exercise Regularly: Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It can help to reduce stress, improve mood, and increase energy levels.

    Exercising regularly is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Not only does it help to reduce stress, but it can also improve mood and increase energy levels. Regular exercise helps to keep the body strong and fit, which in turn can lead to improved mental health. It can also help with weight management, as well as reducing the risk of developing certain diseases such as heart disease or diabetes.

    Regular exercise has been shown to have positive effects on both physical and mental wellbeing. Studies have found that regular physical activity can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, while improving overall quality of life. Exercise releases endorphins which are hormones that make us feel good; this in turn leads to increased happiness levels.

    In addition to its many benefits for physical health, exercising regularly has been linked with improved cognitive functioning too. Research suggests that regular aerobic exercise may be beneficial for memory recall and learning new information more quickly.

    Overall, there are numerous benefits associated with exercising regularly – from improved physical health through to better mental wellbeing – making it an important part of any healthy lifestyle.

  • #6.     Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and focusing on one’s thoughts and feelings. It can help to reduce stress and increase focus.

    Practicing mindfulness can be a powerful tool for reducing stress and increasing focus. It involves being aware of one’s thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations in the present moment without judgment or attachment. Mindfulness helps to cultivate an attitude of acceptance towards whatever arises in the mind, allowing us to observe our thoughts and emotions without getting caught up in them. This practice can help us become more mindful of our reactions to situations so that we can respond with greater clarity and intention.

    Mindfulness also encourages us to take a step back from our busy lives and appreciate what is happening right now. By focusing on the present moment, we are able to gain insight into ourselves as well as develop greater self-awareness. Through this awareness, we can learn how to better manage difficult emotions such as anger or anxiety by recognizing their presence but not letting them control our behavior.

    Finally, practicing mindfulness allows us to create space between ourselves and our worries or concerns about the future. We can use this space to make decisions based on what is best for ourselves rather than reacting out of fear or worry about potential outcomes.

  • #7.     Connect with Others: Connecting with others is an important part of life. It can help to reduce stress and increase happiness.

    Connecting with others is an essential part of life. It can help us to feel less isolated and more connected to the world around us. Studies have shown that having strong social connections can reduce stress, improve our mental health, and even increase our overall happiness. Connecting with others doesn’t just mean spending time with friends or family; it also means reaching out to people in your community who share similar interests or values as you do.

    Making meaningful connections requires effort and dedication, but it can be incredibly rewarding. Start by making small steps such as joining a club or organization related to something you are passionate about, attending events in your area that bring together like-minded individuals, or simply striking up conversations with strangers when you’re out and about. You never know what kind of relationships could develop from these interactions!

    It may take some time for these connections to become meaningful friendships, but don’t give up! The more effort you put into connecting with others, the greater the rewards will be in terms of both personal growth and increased happiness.

  • #8.     Take Breaks: Taking breaks throughout the day can help to reduce stress and increase productivity.

    Taking breaks throughout the day can be an important part of managing stress and increasing productivity. When we take a break, it gives us time to step away from our work and reset our minds. This helps us to come back with fresh ideas and renewed energy. Taking regular breaks also allows us to take care of ourselves physically by getting up, stretching, or taking a walk.

    In addition to physical benefits, taking breaks can help reduce mental fatigue that comes from focusing on one task for too long. Breaks give us the opportunity to refocus our attention on something else for a few minutes which can help clear our minds and make it easier for us to return to the task at hand with more clarity.

    Finally, taking regular breaks is beneficial because it gives us time for self-care activities such as reading a book or listening to music. These activities allow us to relax and recharge so that when we return back into work mode we are better able to focus on what needs doing.

  • #9.     Set Goals: Setting goals is an important part of success. It is important to set realistic goals and to break them down into smaller, achievable tasks.

    Setting goals is an essential part of achieving success. Goals provide direction and motivation, helping us to stay focused on our desired outcomes. It is important to set realistic goals that are achievable within a certain timeframe. Breaking down larger goals into smaller tasks can help make them more manageable and easier to achieve.

    In her book The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success, Emma Seppala explains how setting meaningful goals can lead to greater happiness and satisfaction in life. She suggests that we should focus on setting “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) goals which will give us a sense of purpose and accomplishment when achieved.

    Seppala also emphasizes the importance of self-reflection throughout the goal-setting process. Taking time out for reflection allows us to assess our progress towards our objectives as well as identify any potential obstacles or challenges along the way.

    By taking these steps we can ensure that we are working towards meaningful objectives with clear paths for success – leading ultimately towards greater happiness in life!

  • #10.     Develop Resilience: Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. It is important to develop resilience in order to be successful.

    Developing resilience is an important part of achieving success. Resilience is the ability to cope with and recover from difficult situations, such as failure or rejection. It involves having a positive attitude towards life’s challenges and being able to adapt quickly when faced with adversity. Developing resilience requires practice and dedication, but it can be done.

    One way to develop resilience is by setting realistic goals for yourself that are achievable in the short-term. This will help you stay motivated even when things don’t go your way. Additionally, it’s important to focus on what you can control rather than worrying about things outside of your control. Finally, developing strong relationships with supportive people who understand your struggles can provide emotional support during tough times.

    Resilience isnt something that comes naturally; it takes time and effort to build up this skill set. However, once developed, resilience can be a powerful tool in helping us achieve our goals despite any obstacles we may face along the way.

  • #11.     Practice Self-Care: Self-care is the practice of taking care of oneself. It is important to make time for self-care in order to be productive and successful.

    Practicing self-care is essential for leading a healthy and successful life. It involves taking the time to nurture yourself, both physically and mentally. This can include activities such as getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, exercising regularly, meditating or engaging in mindfulness practices, spending quality time with friends and family members, pursuing hobbies that bring joy and relaxation, setting boundaries with others when needed, seeking professional help if necessary – all of these are important components of self-care.

    Self-care also means being mindful of your thoughts and feelings. Taking the time to recognize how you’re feeling emotionally can be beneficial in helping you manage stress levels more effectively. Additionally it’s important to practice positive affirmations throughout the day which will help boost your confidence and overall wellbeing.

    By making an effort to prioritize self-care on a regular basis we can create healthier habits that will lead us towards greater success in our lives. Self-care should not be seen as something selfish but rather an investment into ourselves so that we have the energy and motivation to pursue our goals.

  • #12.     Find Meaning: Finding meaning in life is essential for happiness. It is important to find activities that bring joy and purpose to life.

    Finding meaning in life is essential for happiness. It can be difficult to find activities that bring joy and purpose, but it is worth the effort. When we have a sense of purpose, our lives become more meaningful and fulfilling. We are able to focus on what matters most and make decisions with intentionality. Additionally, having a sense of meaning helps us stay motivated even when times get tough.

    One way to find meaning in life is by engaging in activities that align with your values or passions. This could include volunteering at an animal shelter if you love animals, taking up painting if you’re creative, or joining a book club if reading brings you joy. These activities will help give your life structure and direction while also providing opportunities for personal growth.

    Another way to find meaning is through relationships with others. Connecting with family members, friends, colleagues or mentors can provide support during challenging times as well as offer new perspectives on how to approach problems or situations differently. Having strong relationships also allows us to feel connectedness which can lead to greater feelings of contentment.

    Ultimately finding meaning in life requires self-reflection and exploration into what makes us happy and fulfilled. Taking time out each day for introspection can help identify areas where we need improvement as well as uncover hidden talents or interests that may bring more joy into our lives.

  • #13.     Develop Optimism: Optimism is the practice of looking on the bright side of life. It can help to reduce stress and increase happiness.

    Developing optimism is an important part of leading a happy and successful life. Optimism can help us to focus on the positive aspects of our lives, rather than dwelling on the negative. It can also help us to stay motivated and take action towards achieving our goals. By looking at situations in a more positive light, we are better able to handle difficult times and find solutions that work for us.

    Optimism doesnt mean ignoring reality or pretending that everything is perfect; it simply means having faith that things will eventually get better. We can practice optimism by focusing on what we have control over, such as our attitude and actions, rather than worrying about things outside of our control. Additionally, taking time each day to appreciate the good things in life—no matter how small—can help cultivate an optimistic outlook.

    By developing optimism, we open ourselves up to new possibilities and opportunities for growth. We become more resilient when faced with challenges because we know that no matter what happens there is always something good waiting around the corner if we just keep going forward.

  • #14.     Manage Stress: Stress is a normal part of life, but it is important to manage it in order to be successful.

    Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but it can be managed in order to achieve success. The key to managing stress is understanding how it affects us and learning effective strategies for dealing with it. One way to manage stress is by recognizing the signs that you are becoming overwhelmed and taking steps to reduce your stress levels before they become unmanageable. This could include engaging in relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding unhealthy coping mechanisms like alcohol or drugs.

    Another important strategy for managing stress is developing positive thinking habits. It’s easy to get caught up in negative thoughts when we’re feeling stressed out, but reframing our thoughts can help us stay focused on solutions rather than problems. Practicing gratitude and focusing on the good things in life can also help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression associated with chronic stress.

    Finally, having a strong support system of family members or friends who understand what you’re going through can make all the difference when it comes to managing stressful situations. Talking about your worries with someone who cares about you can provide much-needed perspective and emotional support during difficult times.

  • #15.     Cultivate Positive Emotions: Positive emotions are essential for happiness. It is important to cultivate positive emotions in order to be successful.

    Cultivating positive emotions is an important part of achieving success and happiness. Positive emotions can help us to stay motivated, be more productive, and build better relationships with others. They also give us the energy we need to take on challenges and reach our goals.

    One way to cultivate positive emotions is by practicing gratitude. Taking time each day to reflect on what you are grateful for can help you focus on the good in your life rather than dwelling on negative thoughts or experiences. Additionally, it’s important to practice self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, or spending time outdoors that will bring joy into your life.

    It’s also helpful to surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself and lift your spirits when needed. Connecting with friends and family members who have a positive outlook can help keep your mood up even during difficult times.

    Finally, it’s essential to remember that cultivating positive emotions takes practice. It may not come naturally at first but if you commit yourself to making small changes every day then eventually these habits will become second nature.

  • #16.     Practice Self-Awareness: Self-awareness is the practice of understanding one’s thoughts and feelings. It is important to be aware of one’s emotions in order to be successful.

    Practicing self-awareness is an important part of achieving success. It involves understanding one’s thoughts and feelings, as well as recognizing how they affect our behavior. Self-awareness helps us to identify our strengths and weaknesses, recognize our triggers for stress or anxiety, and understand the impact we have on others. By being aware of these things, we can make better decisions that will lead to more positive outcomes.

    Self-awareness also allows us to be mindful of our emotions in any given situation. We can learn to observe ourselves objectively without judgment or criticism so that we can respond appropriately instead of reacting impulsively. This practice enables us to stay focused on what matters most and take action accordingly.

    Finally, self-awareness gives us insight into why certain situations may cause distress or discomfort. With this knowledge, we are able to develop strategies for managing difficult emotions in a healthy way so that they don’t interfere with our goals or relationships.

  • #17.     Develop Coping Skills: Coping skills are strategies for dealing with difficult emotions. It is important to develop coping skills in order to be successful.

    Developing coping skills is essential for success in life. Coping skills are strategies that help us to manage difficult emotions and situations. They can be used to reduce stress, increase resilience, and improve our overall wellbeing. Examples of coping skills include deep breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, journaling, positive self-talk, problem solving techniques, physical activity or exercise, relaxation techniques such as yoga or tai chi, and seeking social support from friends and family.

    When developing coping skills it is important to find the ones that work best for you. Everyone has different needs when it comes to managing their emotions so it’s important to experiment with different strategies until you find what works best for you. It may also be helpful to seek professional guidance if needed in order to develop effective coping mechanisms.

    Having a toolbox of effective coping strategies can make all the difference when dealing with challenging situations or difficult emotions. Developing these tools will not only help us cope better but also lead us towards greater success in life.

  • #18.     Find Balance: Balance is essential for success. It is important to find a balance between work and leisure in order to be successful.

    Finding balance is essential for success. It can be difficult to juggle work and leisure, but it is important to find a way to do both in order to achieve success. When we focus too much on one aspect of our lives, such as work or leisure, we can become unbalanced and overwhelmed. This can lead us down a path of burnout and unhappiness. To avoid this, it’s important to take time out from our daily routines and make sure that we are taking care of ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

    It’s also important to remember that balance doesn’t mean perfection; it means finding the right mix between different aspects of life so that you feel fulfilled in all areas. For example, if you have an intense job with long hours then you may need more downtime than someone who works part-time or has flexible hours. Finding the right balance will look different for everyone depending on their individual needs.

    The key is being mindful about how much time you spend doing each activity so that your overall wellbeing isnt compromised by focusing too heavily on any one area at the expense of another. By creating a balanced lifestyle where work and leisure are given equal importance – rather than prioritizing one over the other – you will be able to reach your goals while still enjoying life along the way.

  • #19.     Take Time for Fun: Taking time for fun is an important part of life. It is important to make time for activities that bring joy and relaxation.

    Taking time for fun is an important part of life. It allows us to take a break from the stresses and pressures of everyday life, and it can help us to recharge our batteries so that we are better able to handle whatever comes our way. Fun activities can range from playing sports or video games, going out with friends, taking a vacation, or simply spending some quality time alone doing something you enjoy. Whatever activity you choose should be something that brings joy and relaxation into your life.

    Making sure to take regular breaks throughout the day is also essential in order to stay productive and energized. Taking short breaks throughout the day helps us refocus on tasks at hand while also allowing us to relax and have some fun. This could include taking a walk outside during lunchtime or having coffee with a friend after work.

    Having fun doesn’t just make us feel good in the moment; research has shown that regularly engaging in enjoyable activities can lead to increased levels of happiness over time as well as improved physical health. So don’t forget: Take time for yourself every now and then – it will do wonders for your wellbeing!

  • #20.     Live in the Present: Living in the present is the practice of focusing on the present moment. It can help to reduce stress and increase happiness.

    Living in the present is a powerful way to reduce stress and increase happiness. It involves being mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and actions in the moment. This means taking time to appreciate what you have right now instead of worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. When we focus on living in the present, we can be more aware of our emotions and how they affect us. We can also become more conscious of our decisions and how they impact our lives.

    By focusing on what’s happening right now, we can better manage difficult situations that arise. Instead of getting overwhelmed by negative thoughts or worries about what could happen next, we can take a step back and observe our current situation objectively. This allows us to make decisions based on facts rather than fear or anxiety.

    Living in the present also helps us stay connected with ourselves and those around us. By paying attention to our own needs as well as those of others, we are able to build meaningful relationships that bring joy into our lives.

    Overall, living in the present is an important practice for reducing stress levels while increasing overall happiness. Taking time each day to be mindful of your thoughts and feelings will help you live life with greater intentionality so that you can enjoy every moment along your journey.