Success and happiness tend to go hand and hand, but you have to define what would make you feel successful and happy. Sometimes success and happiness will lead you in two different directions.
For example, you may find that your current situation makes you happy, but if you ever want a promotion, you will probably have to give up some things in order to step up to your new challenges. You should always consider what is more important to you at that time.
While financial success can be appealing, the happiness which comes from personal success often lasts longer and feels better.
Set Your Happiness Goals
Life can be frustrating or seem meaningless at times: get up, to work, run a bunch of errands, repeat! You should set some key goals in order to find happiness and success. Take time to consider what kind of life you want to have. We are all different, so ask yourself: what would make me truly happy?
Be intentional about setting goals for yourself. Break your goals into smaller, bite-sized pieces and aim for those steps which lead you toward the bigger goal.
Be flexible. You may change your mind about reaching certain goals as you learn more about yourself and the goals you've set. Your priorities may change because you've taken a new job or started a new relationship. That's okay. Changing your mind isn't giving up or failing, it's about being agile and adaptable. Adjust your goals to reflect your updated ideals.
Just Do Happy
Happiness and success do take some practice. What daily behaviors will make you feel great?
Right now, close your eyes and think of three things which you want to accomplish on your journey toward being happy and successful.
Jot them down. Begin by thinking of small steps and actions that will help you achieve the things you really want.
Place your list somewhere you can see it on a daily basis. Hang it next to the bathroom mirror or on your refrigerator or next to your computer monitor. Do something everyday that will help you achieve your goals.
Being happy and successful are possible for everyone, but the definitions of happiness and success also differ from person to person. Don't get distracted by trying to achieve goals that other people value. Life is too short. Do you! Make sure you identify and revisit what's important to you and spend your time and energy pursuing the individual path which will take you toward your own happier future.
My book, 21 Days to Happiness, talks more about being intentional with our goals as part of the 21 day journey toward a happier life. Each chapter contains more resources and tips to help you craft your own happiness. I'd love for you to spend three weeks with me! Click the button below to learn more.
We've all met people who seem to be happy most of the time. You may have assumed these people are just naturally happy, or that they are the lucky people who have an easy life, or they had really loving parents. Often, this is just not the case.
In my book, 21 Days to Happiness, I explain how happy people make specific choices regarding their thinking and behavior. Happy people tend to consciously or unconsciously think and behave in ways that result in happiness. Unhappy people unconsciously think and behave in ways that create unhappiness. What choices and thoughts are you making about your happiness?
Wherever you are on the happiness continuum, you have the ability to make changes that improve how happy you are. Here are 5 key areas to help you get started.
Happy people are consistently grateful for what they have, rather than complaining about what they don’t have. They notice the many gifts and blessings that come their way and they frequently express gratitude for the everyday things in their lives – the beauty of nature, the food they eat, the smile on a friend’s face, their ability to see, hear, walk, talk. Even many disabled people who may not have the blessings of eyesight, hearing, speech or legs are often happy people because they focus on what they do have and what they can do, rather than focusing on what they are missing out on.
Happy people see the glass as half full, while unhappy people tend to be pessimistic – to see the glass as half empty. Optimistic thinking does not just happen - it is a choice regarding how you see life. Optimistic people are optimistic because they unconsciously or consciously CHOOSE to be optimistic. Instead of noticing everything that is a problem, happy people to look for opportunities. Happy people realize that their thinking is the beginning of a creative process that leads to success. By thinking in positive ways, they move themselves to act in ways that move them closer to their dreams.
Happy people choose to be kind and compassionate toward themselves and others. Happy people have learned that how they treat themselves and others determines much of how they feel. Happy people do not wait to be happy before being kind to themselves and others. They realize that their happiness is the RESULT of their caring behavior, not the CAUSE of it. They are kind, caring and compassionate whether or not they feel like it. They have chosen this way of being, and their happiness is the result.
Happy people do not harbor resentment toward others, even others who have been mean and hurtful toward them. They realize that resentment makes them unhappy, so they choose to allow people their humanness and forgive them their hurtful behavior. Because happy people tend not to take personally others’ uncaring behavior, they don’t get their feelings hurt in the same way that people do who take others’ behavior personally. Happy people recognize that another’s behavior is really about that other person, so they move into compassion toward themselves and others rather than into judgment.
Happy people realize what they can control and what they can’t. They live by the Serenity Prayer, accepting the things they cannot change and changing the things they can. Unhappy people are constantly trying to change people and circumstances and do not accept their lack of control. As a result, they are constantly frustrated. Happy people realize they cannot control others and outcomes, so they focus on what they can control – their own thinking and behavior. Acceptance of what they can and cannot control leads to happiness and inner peace.
If you want to be happy, then you need to recognize that happiness is the result of your thinking and behavior, not the cause of it. Choose to focus on becoming conscious of what thoughts and behavior make you feel happy and you can become a happy person – regardless of your present circumstances. Happiness does not just happen – it takes practice!
The first three areas - gratitude, optimism and kindness - are all featured in my book, 21 Days to Happiness as part of a 21 day journey toward a happier life. You'll find more resources for how to make easy changes to your life in these and other areas in each chapter. I'd love for you to take that journey with me! Click the button below to learn more.
Ms. Ingrid Kelada is an experienced psychologist and happiness expert in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She is a speaker and has facilitated over 1000 workshops all over the world.
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