If you’re like most people, you were taught to believe that hard work begets happiness. So, you work harder and harder, hoping to become happier and happier. Unfortunately, that’s rarely how it works, according to Fast Company contributor Lisa Evans.
“Do great work, you’ll get a promotion and then you’ll be happy. This is the mainstream formula for happiness,” she says. “But happiness experts say our formula is wrong.”
Instead of happiness flowing from productive work, studies show that productive work flows from happiness, which means you should make happiness — not work — among your top priorities during the work week.
An easy way to do so, according to Evans, is to focus on small acts of kindness that have a big impact on your well-being. “Committing yourself to performing five random acts of kindness over the course of a week … has a greater impact on your happiness than exercise,” she says. “These random acts of kindness can be as simple as holding open the door for someone or paying for someone’s coffee. The reason these acts of kindness make us happy is because they cause us to feel good about ourselves.”