Five Steps To Rediscovering Happiness - Proteus Leadership
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Five Steps To Rediscovering Happiness

Life provides us with challenges. Sometimes we suffer circumstances that leave us in a bad space. The only truth is that you cannot control what happens to you, only what you do about it.

Often executives feel challenged and stuck, searching for a path ‘back’ to feeling good and maintaining high performance.

Every day we can be exposed to bad experiences. Every day we can suffer minor or major setbacks and traumas. The key to getting beyond these circumstances is to be aware that you can, and apply these five quick lessons from positive psychology to help you get back to your best.


Five steps to maintain performance and feel happy


1. Purpose

Having a purpose or a bigger goal allows you to look forward. Take a breath and decide that regardless of what happened, there are still things to do, goals to achieve, things that you want beyond the setback. The situation may have created the need for new goals, or a new purpose that you can now focus on.

Start by reminding yourself of these goals, of your bigger purpose, and ask yourself, “What is the first thing that I need to do to achieve this?” and do it. Before you know it, you have moved beyond the issue and back into moving ahead.


2. Reality

Sometimes it’s so easy to focus on problems that we can become separated from what else is going on in our lives. There is our problem, and then there is the rest of reality which probably contains lots of great things hidden in everyday life. Looking at reality allows the situation to be put into perspective with everything else.


3. Optimism

We can focus on the past. We can focus on the future. Optimism is allowing ourselves to see the possibilities for better things in the future. What is important is that a positive outlook and an optimistic view will allow you to ‘see’ the positive things in our lives.

Having a pessimistic outlook encourages people to focus on the negative aspects of experience. Looking for the positive and having an optimistic outlook moves you away from the problem and towards finding the good things that exist in your life.


4. Social Connections

Often we believe when we are in a problem that we are alone, or that we have to tackle it alone. Connecting to others socially is a powerful thing so much so that social isolation has the same effect on people’s long term health as smoking 20 cigarettes a day. Connecting to people makes you feel cared about, it encourages you to care and can put a challenging situation that occurred into a new and more positive perspective.


5. Exercise

Exercise is a powerful tool that improves the body and mind. 10 minutes of exercise three times a week is enough to start impacting anxiety. Three exercise sessions of 30 minutes each starts to impact on depression. Regardless of your level of fitness, increasing your exercise has a positive impact and gets you moving. It helps you beat stress and provides an outlet for your stress and energy.

So if you are feeling that you are suffering from a stressful or upsetting situation, ask yourself these questions:

• What do I want to achieve, and what are the first steps I need to get there?
If I looked at my life from outside, how would I see what is going on for me? Compared to others in a variety of situations, what is my reality? What are the good things that I am not seeing about my life?
If I looked at the future through a positive lens, what would I focus on?
Who could I connect with that I haven’t connected with for a while? Can I list three people I can contact this week that I want to reconnect to?
How can I add exercise into my day?

As executives and leaders, as well as in our daily life, we are exposed to things every day which can encourage us to generate stress, feel traumatised or make us feel upset. We can move on from these to a happier, healthier life. Use the five steps to happiness as a bridge to get you out of your problem and back to moving forward to a better life.

How have you used any of these frames to recover from a bad spot?

Do you have a process that you use to help you get back to the top of your game?


By Philip Owens
Published with permission from International Institute of Directors and Managers (IIDM) –


Proteus Leadership is one of Australia’s premier leadership training and development companies. Proteus Leadership provides leadership courses and management training to a range of industries and assists organisations to build positive workplace cultures, implement change and Create Great Leaders. Proteus also facilitates a range of world-class management courses, workshops, conferences and events across Australia and beyond with the sole purpose of bringing leaders together to connect and grow.

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