OK, this is straight from a Gen X-er who used to be uber cool and is now shopping for Mom jeans …reporting in with a simple question:
What’s so awful about expressing joy and happiness, people?
Case in point: commercials.
You have a couple of hipster 20 somethings acting aloof and cool. Guy usually has some scruffy beard-thing going on, girl has cute bangs with secretary glasses. One of them breaks into a happiness explosion (maybe they just bit into some candy bar or pizza or whatever the commercial is selling), disarming the aloofness of the moment. The happiness exploder laughs, exclaims something ecstatic, expresses feelings to the nth degree… and is inevitably met with an aloof, smug response from the other person.
“Ummmm, yeah?”, she says with sneering eyes of disapproval.
Happiness exploder dials it way, way down and reverts to smug hipster conformity. Off go the smiles, down go the arms from their victory salute. Happy person stops expressing him or herself and steps into line.
This is so uncool! Why is it happening? Is it a reflection of how people really are? I’m not totally disconnected from young hipsters, I try to maintain intergenerational friendships, but still it leaves me wondering. Are advertisers capitalizing on and reinforcing the drive towards emotional conformity? Is it a trend in society? Mom Jeans lady (that would be me) stands perplexed.
I’m all for Happiness Explosions and personally have them umpteen times a day. The minute Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n Roll) or Guns ‘N Roses come on, I’m insane with happiness and kinesthetic gratitude tapping with each toe. Maybe for you it’s hitting every green light, seeing a beautiful sunset, or watching your cat chase a speck of light… but sometimes we just have to get out of self-consciousness and release! These are important ways to stay tapped into our creativity, our zest for life, and our genius. And I assert that if more of us had them, we’d be much more successful in business, life, and we’d be a helluva lot more fun to be around.
Look at Michael Bennett from the Seattle Seahawks: when his team cinched the division championship, he grabbed a police bicycle and started taking victory laps around the field. Did he care if he looked like a little boy having a happiness explosion? No way! Did his actions free others to have their own happiness explosions? Absolutely!
I reached out to my friend and happiness junkie, Susan Liddy. She’s a Burnout Recovery Coach for business owners and executives. If anyone could back me up on this message, I knew Susan would be the one! Plus she expertly ties this into how happiness impacts your success.
Here’s what Susan has to say in support of happiness:
“Happy people think more clearly, solve problems faster, and are more likely to create successful businesses than their more pessimistic counterparts. Author and happiness researcher, Sean Achor reveals in his book, Happiness Advantage that happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome: raising sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%, as well as a myriad of health and quality-of-life improvements.”
“And the good news is that studies show that up to 90% of happiness is well within our control. So often people focus on external reward — validation, money, things to create happiness. Yet studies show that only 10% of our ‘circumstances’ feeds into making you happy. Your attitude, perspective on life, your choices to acknowledge yourself and practice gratitude is what makes the difference.”
So what do you do now? Go have a Happiness Explosion! Take the proverbial stick out from where it’s stuck and release. I can’t wait to hear what that looks like for you.