Fostering Success Through Happiness
Have you ever caught yourself thinking, “As soon as I land that big client, I will be happy” or, “Just a few more 60+ hour work-weeks and I will have earned that extended weekend away at the mountains with my family”? I have. In fact, I’ve spent a good part of the last twenty years since University convincing myself that as soon as I achieve this goal or that milestone, then I will be happy and fulfilled. I did get a level of satisfaction from my accomplishments; albeit temporarily. I found myself setting yet more and more goals, achieving them, and then repeating the process over and again. Along the way I made a discovery, consistently achieving my goals and milestones was not making me happy, at least not in a permanent and lasting way. The more I set goals the more I set goals, and on and on it went.
How could it be that my successes did not seem to correlate with consistent happiness and peace of mind? Was I doing something wrong? Should I be setting ever bigger and more ambitious goals? At what point would I reach the promised land of happiness via success?
Then it hit me. I’ve had it backwards all these years. Success doesn’t lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success. It’s the journey and our experiences that shape our lives. Our frame of mind shapes the perspective of our experiences. If we are happy in what we are doing, we are enjoying our experience. We are more likely to view them as successful.
If you wish to be successful, start with being happy. What does happy look like for you? Are you happy in your career? Happy with your relationships? Happy with yourself? Make a list of five things that you could do right now to improve your career, your relationships and yourself. Then, one by one begin working on those changes in your life. Don’t get discouraged if this takes time. Be happy in the knowledge that you are taking positive steps in the right direction.
Start small but start today. The sooner you do, the sooner you will find lasting happiness and success will be the byproduct.