I’ve heard a time or two million that you need to be successful to be happy. You must accomplish some goal or reach some level in life—be it social, professional, or otherwise—before you will feel good. Success comes, and happiness follows.
Countless times I’ve heard people (including myself) say, “I’ll be happy when this or that happens” or “After I get through this week, I’ll be happy.” Achieving something seems to be a generic barometer for happiness. I get it. We think our happiness is a reward in the future after we’ve proven ourselves one way or another. I’ve been there, and I visit that place often, still, because I’m human.
But, I’ll let you in on a bit of secret: we’ve got it ALL WRONG.
In fact, I DO know the secret to success. How can that be if everyone’s definition of success is personal? Because the secret to success is UNIVERSAL.
Success is really about an innate desire we all have: TO BE HAPPY. I’m not talking about FEELING happy, which is a naturally fleeting emotion. I’m focusing on BEING happy, which is SO much more than a feeling. It’s a STATE of well-being, a deep sense of joy. Yes, we have moments of feeling happy. Still, the true happiness humans instinctively seek is a sense of PEACE and JOY under the surface that is ever-present even when we’re feeling anything BUT happy.
Happiness is the secret. It’s the fuel for any kind of success you want in life. Be it a better relationship, the career of your dreams, or just the calm feeling inside when life is storming around you. Success doesn’t come first. Happiness does.
Happiness is not a destination but a journey. That’s why it’s called ‘the pursuit of happiness.’ We’re on the path to happiness throughout our entire lives. Happiness may quickly show up when extraordinary things happen and then become a little more distant when things aren’t so awesome. Instead of waiting for happiness to show itself or announce that it has arrived, why not put it in your hands? The truth is, all you need to access happiness is YOU.
Doing something small every day that brings you joy will make it easier to access YOUR HAPPY and help you find your way to YOUR happier life. I’m not saying it’s easy, especially when life throws rocks at you at every turn, and you see no end in sight. It’s important to remember that YOU have the power to push the stones aside and keep going.
When something crappy happens, feelings of sadness or anger (or any negative emotion) are TOTALLY normal, natural, and appropriate. In fact, suppressing these emotions isn’t healthy, even though they don’t feel so good. Alternatively, it’s ESSENTIAL to embrace and honor how you feel and what you’re going through, no matter how painful.
Then when you catch your breath and you’re ready, pay attention to the peace, calm, and sense of well-being beneath the surface. Your happiness is there to remind you that you are always one choice away from accessing your joy. The more you choose to lean into it, the easier it will be. And over time (not overnight!), it will become your natural state.
Success and happiness go hand in hand, but happiness ALWAYS comes first. If you want to be successful, make happiness a priority in your life. Start TODAY! Do ONE thing that brings you joy each day. Little by little, happiness will multiply, and what you want in this life will follow.
Remember, you’re not alone. I’m on this happiness journey with you, and I’m here for YOU!
If you want to read more on how happiness creates success (and not the other way around), check out this article on Web MD, “Happiness Comes First, Success Follows.”
Let me know your thoughts! I’d love to hear from you.