This week, am discussing the D.O.S.E. of happiness. Please don’t get me wrong, when I refer to dose, I do not mean a prescription or practice in a particular quantity and frequency. I refer to the 4 hormones responsible for creating happiness for us.
• Dopamine: is actually involved more with anticipation than the actual “happiness” feeling. It is described as a striving emotion. It’s associated with a sense of completion and reward associated with it.
• Oxytocin: is the neurochemical that has allowed us to become social creatures. It makes us feel empathy which helps us feel close and bonded to others when it’s released.
• Serotine: levels can be improved by walking in the sunshine and taking a few more steps, or walking and more physical activity. It gives us pleasure.
• Endorphins: are created when one attempts to push farther and harder towards distance goals.
These are four primary chemicals in the brain that affect happiness. The way we live our lives and conduct our routine influences their generation and evokes positivity in us. Let’s understand this with a story…..
Once upon a time, there were 2 friends, Kabir and Manav. Of the two friends, Manav used to be more cheerful most of the times and Kabir used to mostly worry about uncertainties. Both graduated from the same university in the same year and got a job in the same company.
Both worked to the best of their abilities and cemented their places in that organization. After a period of time, Manav got promoted to Sales manager but Kabir remained a Sales officer…. Obviously Kabir felt hurt and jealous. After some time he started to feel so bad that he could not stand the sight of Manav and hence decided to resign.
Before resigning he also complained to HR that management has no respect for hard-working employees, and it promotes only those whom it favours. His manager being a wise and sincere professional, understood the sentiments. He was fully aware that Kabir actually used to work hard, even harder than Manav, but there was something missing in Kabir’s approach.
With an intention to help Kabir, the manager called him to his cabin and asked him to go to the market and see if there was someone selling watermelons. Kabir returned and updated the manager that there was one vendor who was selling watermelons. His manager asked him to get the price as well. He again went and came back with information that the price was Rs. 15 per kg.
Then he called Manav and send him to the market for the same task. Manav returned back with the information that in the radius of 3 km from the office, there are 3 vendors who are selling watermelons. One is on the east and the other two are on the west road. All the three are selling @ Rs. 15/kg.
Then after been permitted by the manager he disclosed more information. The vendor on the west has the best quality and sweetest watermelons and has his own farmhouse as well. So if the watermelons are required in huge quantity, he can supply @ Rs. 10/kg for the entire season. Apart from one vendor on the east road has a slicing machine and is ready to slice watermelons at no additional cost.
He is ready to provide garnished watermelon slice of 750 gms to the employees of the organization @ Rs. 10/- per slice. All this information and comparative analysis is available on a spreadsheet and can be made available as and when required. Needless to say, Kabir clearly understood the gap.
So if we look at Manav’s working style and relate it with the brief definitions of the 4 hormones mentioned above ….we might understand the reason for his happiness which eventually leads to his success….
• He used to complete a task to perfection. Hence Dopamine is activated.
• He met all the vendors established a good rapport with them and socialized, hence the neuro-chemical Oxytocin hormone is active.
• In order to meet all the vendors, he did a lot more physical activity. This activates Serotine levels.
• He was also empathetic for his bosses’ requirement and hence went an extra mile, collected additional data and information, hence pushed farther and harder, and in the process activated his Endorphins.
This way Manav always had his D.O.S.E. of happiness in his working. Are you ready for yours….
It’s not what we do but how we do, that makes us happy, and now since you all are aware of the chemical and hormonal evidence between smart work and happiness .. stay happy, stay blissful….and work smart and create your own D.O.S.E. of happiness…
(The author is a city-based leadership coach, corporate trainer and an Internationally certified Design Thinking Master practitioner. This is a weekly column and every Saturday readers will get to read some of his finest motivational thoughts.)