Amanda Baltazar | August 27, 2013

“If you’re happy in your job, you’re less likely to quit,” says Shawn Achor, one of the designers and teachers of Harvard University’s Happiness course, and author of Before Happiness, to be published this month.

Most of us think that if we’re successful at work, we’ll be happy, but we’ve got it backwards, he explains. Being happy will lead to success.

Anchor, who’s the CEO of Good Think Inc., a global positive psychology consulting company, believes that simply being happy not only leads to us feeling better in the workplace, but also makes those around us feel better. Happy people, he says, are more likely to get a promotion, receive better tips and stay longer in their jobs.

He defines happiness as “the joy we feel striving towards our potential.” People seem least happy when they stagnate and don’t feel any growth at work, he adds.

The pursuit of happiness is actually pretty simple, explains Achor, who has spent more than a decade researching positive psychology. Here’s how he recommends you put a smile on your face and enjoy your job every day:

  • Put a positive spin on things: You may have had a stressful day, or a difficult week, but if instead of seeing this as bad, you can turn it around and view it as a learning experience, or can see some nuggets of positivity in these times, you’ll feel better. “People who are most successful in every industry are the ones who take those negative events and see them as a positive—as something they can solve,” Achor explains. “So view negative events as places to grow.”