Come on and get happy.

Marcus Buckingham shows you how. Women have made great strides in power, influence and earnings in the past 40 years, but overall, life satisfaction has gone downhill, according to longitudinal studies from the National Bureau of Economic Research of more than 45,000 women. The study shows that women have gradually become less happy than they were 40 years ago, and are less happy than men. Marcus Buckingham, personal strengths expert, has published these findings and his own research on women's happiness in He found that the happiest and most successful women have certain similarities:

  • They don't strive for balance; they strive for fullness. They intentionally imbalance their lives toward those moments that make them feel strong.
  • They always sweat the small stuff. They know and act on the specific details of what invigorates them, and they let go of what doesn't strengthen them.
  • They don't agonize over who they aren't. They accept and act on who they are. They have discovered the role they were born to play and they play it.

Buckingham offers a quiz at that poses a number of scenarios with a variety of decisions possible for each situation. The decision you choose for each scenario indicates your interests, strengths and the corresponding role that's likely to be most fulfilling for you. The nine different roles identified include motivator, pioneer or creator. Knowing your role is like having a compass providing direction on where to find happiness, Buckingham says. The test provides a clear distinction of your biggest strength and suggests career moves that match those strengths.


Journalist, podcaster and southpaw Shelby Skrhak is the former director of digital content and social media for Before joining SUCCESS magazine, Shelby launched the weekly suburban newspaper Plano Insider, and covered topics ranging from cops and courts to transportation and fashion. Her handwriting should be a font.

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