A word of wisdom which seems particularly appropriate considering the current economic climate AND the fact that the holidays are upon us, from one of my favourite business authors, Richard Abraham:

According to James Fowler, Ph.D. and Nicholas Christakis, MD, Ph.D., not only is happiness absolutely contagious, it spreads beyond direct contact between two people to "infect" each person’s social network to several degrees beyond first contact.  Put another way:

  • "The happiness of an immediate social contact increased an individual’s chances of becoming happy by 15%."
  • "The happiness of a second-degree contact, such as the (immediate contact’s) spouse or friend, increased that person’s likelihood of becoming happy by 10%."
  • "The happiness of a third-degree contact . . . or the friend of a friend of a friend, increased the likelihood of becoming happy by 6%."

In the article ‘Peace’ by Justin Pinkerman (As highlighted in John Maxwell’s Leadership Wired eLetter), he makes a similar point under the greater lesson of what we can do as leaders to help people through this tough time:

Let in ……

The loved ones in your life. Laugh together, cry together, share stories from the year. Take joy in being with the friends and family who care about you most. Now is not the time to barricade yourself in the office to plan for 2009. Pause, reflect, and be reminded of what matters most on this earth – relationships.

So true. Optimism, happiness, a positive outlook, remembering what is important, family and a ‘CAN DO’ attitude (both personally and professionally), they all have an impact on those around you both at work and at home. A great piece of advice to carry us into the holidays.

Merry Christmas (or as the Brits say ‘Happy Christmas!’).

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