Why Choosing Your Path in 2017 Will Benefit Us All

After a scary 2016, 2017 is the year where I’m making my stand, living by my values and doing what I can to spread happiness and compassion.

If you too are feeling scared and angry about the state of the world then please join me. Let it be your personal motivation to push aside your fears (now is not the time for being scared) and make a positive change to your life and the lives of others.

It is time to choose your path and start making it happen. We all need you to be doing work that you enjoy, using your strengths and providing what the world needs. Not only will it make your life better but it will make ours better too.

Here’s how a) choosing a path with purpose will help and b) how using your strengths will help:

a) Choosing a path with purpose

How this benefits YOU:

  • It will make you happier.

According to the Greater Good Science Center at Berkeley, finding meaning and purpose is a science-backed strategy for happiness.  

  • It’ll improve your health.

In his 2016 book “Life on Purpose,” Victor J Strecher argues that there is a high correlation between a strong purpose and psychological and physical health. This is backed up by a 2014 study in the Psychological Science Journal that found that a “sense of purpose may add years to your life.”

How this benefits OTHERS:

  • You’ll make those around you happier.

According to research published in the British Medical Journal - happiness spreads! The study found that you are 15% more likely to be happy if you are connected with someone who is happy.  

  • You, and those you make happier, will make more of a positive social impact.

Happy people trust others more and so are more likely to contribute positively to society.  

  • You’ll make people who see your compassionate social acts behave more compassionately to others.

According to research done by Jonathan Haidt, witnessing your compassionate acts “elevates” others to act compassionately themselves.

b) Choosing a path that uses your strengths

How this benefits YOU:

  • This also makes you happier!

Using your strengths is another science-backed strategy for happiness according to the Greater Good Science Center.

  • It increases your self esteem and confidence.

Studies have shown that using your strengths makes you feel more confident and have higher levels of self esteem. An increase in self esteem can happen in just 4 weeks of using your strengths!

  • It makes you more productive.

A study using Gallup Client Data revealed that employees who use their strengths every day are 8% more productive.

  • It improves your quality of life.

A recent study has shown that if you use your strengths everyday you are 3x more likely to say that you have an excellent quality of life!

  • You are more likely to achieve your goals.

If you use your strengths to achieve your goals, you’ll be more likely to achieve them. Then when you do, you’ll be feeling even happier!

How this benefits OTHERS:

  • As you feel happier...

...your happiness and compassion will keep spreading!

  • You’ll treat other people more kindly.

Increasing your self-esteem makes you less likely to be prejudiced and think badly of others.

  • As a woman you’ll help close the gender gap and be a much-needed high-achieving  role model for other young women.

It’s 2017 and women are still underrepresented in leadership positions across our global society. Here’s a quote to depress you:

“Across geographies and income levels, disparities between men and women persist in the form of pay gaps, uneven opportunities for advancement, and unbalanced representation in important decision-making.” Rockefeller Foundation Report, Women in Leadership: Why it Matters.

Globally just 24% senior business roles are held by women (Grant Thornton UK LLP) and only 22.8% of  national Parliamentarians are women (June 2016, UN Women.)

Why is this?

Obviously there are a lot of factors, many outside of our immediate personal control, but the one I want to focus on here is the confidence gap.

“In every single economy included in the study, women have lower capabilities perceptions than men. In every region, women have, on average, a greater level of fear of failure than men.” (Global Report on Women and Entrepreneurship, GEM 2012)

This fear of failure and lack of confidence IS something that we can all personally do something about.

By taking charge of your path and choosing work that uses your strengths you’ll increase your confidence, face your fear of failure and become a kickass role model for other young women.

How’s that for a new year’s resolution?

Hello, World!