Success and Happiness
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” Albert Schweitzer
Success and happiness, it’s what most people desire. We think about “if we do this, then this will happen’. People desire to be happy. But they also want to be successful. People want a life free of stress, worry, and fear.
Despite our desires for happiness and success, we usually fail both as we sit in negative emotions. Everyday stress holds us hostage. We allow our feelings to dictate our choices: relationships, finances, health, and life goals.
You have a choice – a pathway – happiness and success. To choose a path less traveled means to place yourself in uncomfortable situations at times. Success is not something that happens overnight. Success requires dedication and perseverance. To start on a pathway of happiness and success requires focus, one day at a time, and one milestone at a time.
Similarly, take one day at a time, roadblocks, and all. At times, you will want to choose an alternate route, one less difficult – don’t. Keep moving forward and choose happiness. Most importantly, make a choice every day to be successful. Happiness is the key to success as long as you’re willing to take the path less traveled.
Yet there is a problem with how success and happiness are typically structured. There are, however, problems with how people determine happiness.
How Most Determine Happiness...
Excitement fills your mind in the beginning, as motivation and intention are at the peak. It is day one, and you wake excited to start your journey of being happy, building a business or losing weight. You have a goal and are determined to achieve it. You are overly presumptuous in building a business and losing weight while at an all time happiness high.
You decide to start walking, your neighborhood flooded with people who are ‘exercising’ more than they have in weeks. You step onto the sidewalk and vigorously move down the street. After your thirty minute walk that day, you feel happy and proud, ignoring your soreness and exhaustion.
Determined to continue on your path, you choose to start building a business – you want to find success to match your happiness. Sixteen hours later, exhaustion sets in but determined to continue tomorrow after a few hours of sleep.
Photo Credit: JC Falcon UNSPLASH
Happiness Excuses ...
The next morning, Alexa screams from your dresser to wake up. Your calf muscles, feet and body beg you not to go walking again. You do it anyways. Day after day you continue this pattern until sleep deprivation, body aches, and pain in your feet win over your intention. Excuses build – you succumb to listening to the excuses instead of pushing forward through the soreness and fatigue for results.
Most importantly, you give into your excuses. Giving in is easier than pushing forward – key to success (and happiness) is pushing through the difficult times. If you want either, you must push beyond your excuses.
Sound familiar? The problem is you are not alone. Society drives us to be result orientated, that the steps required to achieve our goals blurred, and quickly ignored.
This is not to disregard success and happiness, as they are important to achieving and living your dream life. The key is to have goals – life and business goals.
How to Find Your Happiness and Success
In this section, you will dig into how to find your happiness. Happiness and success are independent of each other. Being happy does not always mean success. Being successful does not equal happiness. Many people are happy, not successful, and vice versa. To understand happiness and the key to success, you must define what each word means to you.
Before you attempt to define, let me remove “to be happy, I need to be successful.” I want you to really think what the words “success” and “happiness” mean to you – as individual words.
For instance, success for you may mean something different to the next person. Happiness for someone is different than someone else.
Remember, money does not always mean happiness, quiet the opposite generally. I know, I had a lot of money and freedom and was far from happy. Money and success drove my husband and me to end our fourteen-year marriage. There are, however, some people will disagree with parts or all of how I chose to define happiness and success. Above all, success and happiness looked completely different, based on our experiences.
Are You Ready for Happiness?
Your experiences drive and shape your beliefs. If you have an unpleasant experience with money or success, you will not find either happy.
Now is the time to define what both mean to you. Are you ready to be happy? Ready to find your success? You can… and will!
How many times have you heard “happiness is attainable,” in your life? I am guessing more than once. Whether you choose to believe happiness and success is attainable or not, give yourself the freedom to explore the possibility.
Firstly, “What will make you happy?” Sit with that question for a moment. Try and answer with complete honesty.
Secondly, ask yourself “What will make me feel successful?” Journal the answers to these questions. It would help if you had a definition of what will make you happy and what will make you feel successful, to have either. When you can see what you wrote, the ability to define goals to achieve happiness and success is attainable.
Moreover, how you define happiness and success are based on your experiences thus far – and will not be like anyone else’s. Believe you can achieve happiness and success; it’s 100% true! And without a doubt believe in you!
Habits for Happiness and Success
Now that you have defined what happiness and success mean to you, you are ready to start your habits. Habits happen over time; research suggests 28+ days. To form a habit, you will do the required action every day for 28 days. Easy? Not the case…
#1 - Live in the Present
People often find themselves living in the past instead of the present. And for those of us who live in the today, are you living in the present? You are not limited by your past or who you think you should be. Often, we are worried about what will happen tomorrow, a week from now or three months – instead of living in the here-and-now.
What does it mean to be present? How is being present a happiness key to success?
Being present allows us to appreciate the world – our surroundings and the people who live near us. Finding extraordinary ways to simplify your life will assist you in living in the present.
Living in the present means, we acknowledge our fears and our worries. We do not ignore our health, finances, or relationship problems. Achieving happiness and success doesn’t mean you will free yourself of worries. As you achieve success, there is a new set of concerns like customer satisfaction, employee retention, and financial growth (among many others).
Keep reminding yourself that you will always worry, but you can be happy and successful when you focus on living in the present (not the past or the future).
#2 - Set Goals
Your happiness and success are limited when you do not set goals. A classic example of this is the January 1st day of New Year’s Resolutions.
A study determined that only 8% of people who set goals on New Year’s Eve achieve them. Why does this happen? If we cannot stick with our yearly goals, how do we gain any level of happiness or success?
You can attain success through goals. At some point in your life, you have set a goal or goals – lose weight, run a marathon, get a new job… Goals are part of human DNA.
There are tons of articles on SMART goals. I am NOT a believer in the SMARTER way. There are, however, some people who will disagree.
The theory behind SMARTER goals: setting Specific (S), Meaningful (M), Achievable (A), Relevant (R), and Time-Based (T) goals that are Evaluated (E), and the approach is Re-Adjusted (R) until you succeed.
SMARTER goals work, (a lot of people swear by this method), but it is not the only way to achieve success.
Goals are goals
- ->> Identify what you want to achieve: Happiness and Success.
- ->> Set micro-goals to meet and celebrate as you work to the primary goal.
- ->> Set a preliminary date to achieve micro-goals and big goal(s).
Setting micro-goals will allow you to celebrate your ‘wins’ and continue pushing forward to achieve your big goal. If you don’t set micro-goals to meet and rejoice, you will find yourself exhausted, discouraged, and give up.
Micro-goals are goals you can work toward and achieve in a week to three weeks. Once you reach your goal(s), celebrate and receive your reward for accomplishing your goal. Continue moving toward your big goal by completing micro-goals.
#3 - Form Healthy Habits
Health and wellbeing are an essential part of the happiness-and-success formula, and one of the biggest keys to achieving them both. When you do not take care of yourself by choosing to eat unhealthy, binge drink, or not exercise, our bodies and mind suffer.
What’s the answer? Habits!
Habits require dedication, persistence, and patience. Habits do not form overnight – 28+ days, according to many pieces of research. A study found that habit formation takes anywhere from 18 to 254 days to create an average of 66 days to solidify.
Noone said happiness is the key to success would be easy to achieve.
Our body and brain are complex systems – motivation and desire are altered when we choose to participate in unhealthy activities.
While it’s okay to indulge now and then in certain unhealthy activities (a glass of wine or slice of cake), for the most part, people find it difficult to stop at just one drink or one slice.
Health is vital to Happiness and Success
Your focus for happiness and success needs to be on your health – mind, and body. Start every day with healthy choices, ending the day with healthy options. Life doesn’t have to be so disciplined that you become stressed or feel smothered and bored.
Happiness begins with fueling your mind and body with healthy foods – hydrating with water. Your mind and body require exercise – 15 mins a day of walking, stretching, and movement.
Therefore, when your body and mind are healthy, your overall happiness soars, and success happens.
Bodies require non-carbonated liquids, limited alcohol, and healthy, wholesome foods (fruits, veggies, and lean meats).
Minds require quietness. A viable solution to increase mental health is to learn how to meditate or practice yoga. Check out YouTube for thousands of different videos on both. Neither is easy the first time you try, but it does become more comfortable when you form the habit of attempting every day.
Habits for Happiness and Success
Most importantly, Happiness and Success are achievable, you have to believe you are worthy! I believe in you, you found this post and read all the way to this point. When life gets tough take a moment to breathe, remind yourself that “this too shall pass…” because it will.
Keep going, Happiness and Success is just around the corner!
By being persistent, and working on your goals every day, a SUCCESS YOU is inevitable – Happiness is inevitable. Together, we will find our Happiness and Success.