The Development Source

Seven Things Happy Grant Proposal Professionals Do Differently

Over the past couple of decades, economists, psychologists, and other scholars have been studying the concept of happiness.  What makes people happy?  What makes people unhappy?  Why are people in countries like Denmark very happy while people in places like Bulgaria unhappy?  By now, we have plenty of survey data from around the world on the conditions of happiness.

 Recently, writer and lawyer Paula Davis-Laack wrote about the things happy people do differently than unhappy people.  I will take several of her points and apply them to grant proposal professionals.  There are basic things that we all can do to make ourselves happier while being proposal professionals.

 Build social capital

Happy people build strong ties with their family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues at work.  Being connected is very conducive to happiness.

 Feel gratitude

Gratitude is important because it helps you appreciate all many good things in your life.  There is a strong relationship between feeling gratitude and being happy.

 Put your material possessions in perspective

Most people reading this blog are in the top 5 percent of the world’s richest people.  This includes middle-class individuals in theUnited States.  Beyond basic necessities, there is no correlation between the amount of goods or wealth you possess and your level of happiness.  A new car or iPod will make you happy, but only for a very short time. 

 Focus on your health

There are more people in theUnited Stateswho are obese or depressed than there are poor people.  Take care of your body and mind and you will feel healthier and happier.

 Do good things

All our research on happiness indicates that there is a strong correlation between helping others and feeling good about yourself.  There are many opportunities to make your community a better place that will help you at least as much as they help others.  Volunteering is an important component of happiness.

 Connect with something bigger and greater than yourself

People who are active in religious institutions tend to be healthier and happier than those who are not.  They smoke and drink less, have stronger social networks, and on average live longer and more satisfying lives.  Religious institutions are great builders of social and spiritual capital.

 Create a constructive direction for yourself

Happy people often have a clear direction and meaningful goals.  It gives them purpose and focus.

 Happy people, including grant proposal professionals, have developed time-tested strategies and behaviors that help them experience their lives positively and meaningfully.  Find your own ways to become a happier proposal professional.  It will benefit both you and your colleagues.

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