Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Day 3114 - How being happy for others can create more joy in yourself

Do you get excited by other people's dreams?

As a success consultant I work with people to achieve their goals - whatever those goals might be.  Something I've noticed is I get really excited by their achievements and while I'm their coach, their success and happiness actually inspires me to strive.

Yesterday I sat with a client and her husband as we brainstormed about the branding, strategic plan and vision for the next phase of their home business. They have created something from nothing and despite the challenges they seem to be breaking through the other side with endless possibilities.

Seeing them pave the way to success has lit a flame in me.  I really get happy to see the happiness and success in others.

Anyway, I thought I'd look into it.  Coz, you know, I love to read about this stuff. 

According to the Washington Post, "one person's happiness can affect another's for as much as a year" according to researchers.  Apparently it is truly infectious.  Far more infectious that someone's bad mood.  They found that "unhappiness can also spread from person to person but the infectiousness of that emotion appears to be far weaker".

While some people become envious or jealous of others success, it is found that those who experience genuine happiness in another person's wins are more likely to achieve success in their own endeavours.  The reason is usually due to feeling inspired, learning from the other person, creating networks and seizing opportunities. The ability to absorb their success triggers a chemical reaction that becomes contagious and promotes action.

How do these chemical reactions work?  Well, not all chemicals are the same. But let's look at something as simple as a smile.  The smile is similar to a yawn, in that it triggers "mirror neurons".  Watching somebody yawn (or even just thinking about a yawn) triggers a chemical response in our body causing us to  mirror the yawn.  The same happens with a smile. 

As a sports coach to littlies, I would often get them to sit in pairs facing their team mate and I would challenge one to try and stay grumpy while the other one sat and grinned broadly at them.  The entire team would be in fits of giggles as even the most stubborn of the crowd couldn't stop their mouth from twitching upwards.

If only success and following our dreams was as contagious as a smile.  Perhaps it is, if we let it be.

Smiling brings more smiles.  Happiness brings more happiness. Success brings more success.

Do you get excited by other people's dreams?

Do happy people make you feel  happy too?

Do you think success could be contagious? 

Not everyone naturally experiences happiness in the success of others.  Some people experience resentment and envy.   Check out this article in Forbes: 6 Ways to Stop Resenting Other People's Success.  


  1. wouldn't it be exciting if success was contagious? maybe it is, they do say "surround yourself with people who lift you up", maybe that's because those people can keep cheering you on to success! Great food for thought.

  2. I love other people's happiness. I love seeing people light up when they talk about something they love. I love listening to the words they choose. Life is made to be shared.

  3. Really interesting post, Leanne. I do get more excited these days about other people's good news than when I was younger and my reaction might have been envy.

    I notice too, that when I am stuck in a negative mindset (eg cancer/IBS) if I can remember the many other people who are also suffering at the same time, and join my issues to theirs, mine becomes less prominent.

    The concept of Loving Kindness is this. You first wish it for yourself, then for those you love, then for those who you may not like much at all, and to those who you do not know. It is called Metta or LovingKindness if you don't already know about it.

    Sending love right back to you!
    Denyse x #teamIBOT

  4. You title is spot on Leanne. On Monday I volunteered at my MILs aged care home and we took some of the residents on a City Cat ride. They had so much fun and I felt great that I had been part of making their day. I love seeing others happy and enjoying themselves at any age and it brings such joy. It was also joyful to watch my grandson and his kindy friends celebrate his 4th birthday last week - they were so carefree. Don't forget to link up with us at Midlife Share the Love Party each Wednesday we would love to have you.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

  5. What a wonderfully positive post Leanne. And so nice to know that negative emotions don't have the longevity as positive ones ;-) I must admit it has been a lesson for me to stop feeling jealous and really feel joy at the success of others. It is so much nicer now I have reached that point but it was a journey.

  6. Oh, I would totally agree with that, I love helping people celebrate their wins & successes, and it definitely inspires me to work harder to create my own success!


I love hearing your thoughts! Keep them rolling in :)

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