I've been reading about happiness lately. And, it got me to thinking that achieving happiness and marketing success are very similar in how they begin. Both have to begin from the bottom up. Both have to start within ourselves with a focus on our fellow humans without manipulation and self-interest but with the interest of others in our hearts.
A number of articles have recently been written about the Framingham Heart Study that began in 1948. In 2003, a social scientist and an internist began searching through the data looking for information about how social networks might influence health and happiness. What they found out is quite amazing and yet something many of us probably understood to be fact.
Basically, if your social network are lots of smokers, for example, you are likely to be a smoker. It turned out that people quit smoking in groups – socially networked groups. The same data holds true for things like obesity. You can read one of the articles here at Wired.
The most interesting finding for me is that happiness turns out to be contagious. If you hang out with happy friends it turns out you are more likely to be happy. Likewise, if you have unhappy friends you need to reconsider your social network.
The next question is how does that apply to online social networks? The scientists discovered that people who have smiling photos on Facebook tend to cluster with other smilers. And, smiling members reported 15 percent more close friends than the sour pusses.
As I was saying, happiness and successful marketing begin from the bottom up. You can't buy it with advertising or by throwing money at it. You can't fake it until you make it. It begins with an authentic desire to create value and happiness for other people. And, then it spreads from person to person.
What have you done today to create value and happiness for those around you?