Everyone wants to be happy and I would argue that ‘almost’ everyone wants to be successful. Yet, when we talk about happiness and success, we’re talking about two different things.
What makes a person feel happy and what makes a person feel successful aren’t always harmonious, in fact, in many cases they oppose each other.
We all have the ability and desire to achieve and experience both happiness and success in abundance. Yet there is a big but coming… What we often define and determine makes us happy is in many cases is the polar opposite of what we experience on our journey to becoming and feeling successful.
We are led to believe that happiness is a destination? And if we reach the destination of happiness all of our problems will disappear…
We find that many adopt an attitude of; when I am X I will be Y.
Let’s put that in to context… When I sell my business for X, I will be happy. When I lose X amount of weight, I will be happy. When I meet X person, I will be happy. When I get promoted to X, I will be happy. When I spend more time with my X, I will be happy and so on and so on…
Can you relate to this?
What is your narrative? What do you tell yourself you need to achieve before you can become happy? What you do need to do to realise happiness?
When you recognise the above, it is very easy to see why we often spend more of our time experiencing negative emotions instead of positive emotions.
In pursuit of ‘X’, which is often a realisation of some form of success, many spend their days and live their lives steeped in some form of stress, and, or unwanted emotions such as fear, anxiety and uncertainty.
With the constant ‘pressure’ of managing our relationships, our finances, our health and our weight and our careers and businesses, it is easy to see how everyday experiences leave us treading water in relation to success yet appear to move us further away from our desired state of happiness.
Nobody wants to feel unhappy and unsuccessful. No one!
Will making life happen, instead of letting life happen allow us to allow ourselves to feel both happy and successful?
So, what do we need to change? How do we go about changing our perspective? Do we need to concentrate on doing the things that make us feel happy instead of the things that we believe will make us successful?
A useful place to start would be to recognise that there is a path to happiness and there is a road to success. They are different, but they needn’t oppose each other. They can run parallel to each other and at key moments and ideally, frequently they should most certainly crossover.
Therefore, happiness and success aren’t simply destinations. For those willing to do the work, happiness and success is now the journey and the key to any successful journey is to:
Know where you are going?
How you are going to get there?
Have an understanding of what you will experience along the way?
How long it will take?
Before we can move this forward, there is a prerequisite. You need to define and write down what both happiness and success mean to you?
And, yes, I mean right it down, make it real, make it tangible. Take it out of your mind and commit it paper. Take it a step further, share your definitions with trusted others. You can sk these people to keep you grounded, on track and accountable.
Once you have defined, committed to paper and shared your definitions you’ve already begun the journey to achieving and realising both happiness and success.
But you need to keep that positive momentum… And here is how!
Look at where you are in key areas of your life. What you are focused on and what level of control you feel you have in these areas. Could you have more? Identify the habits and behaviours that are supporting or preventing you attaining your goal of being both happy and successful.
Identify where you have gaps in the amount of clarity you have in your life. Look at who you are and how you are showing up. Get clear on what are you working towards and identifying what it will take to get you there, including what barriers may stand in your way.
Seek to understand how much mental and physical energy you have each day and create strategies to increase both so that you can commit fully to achieving your goals. Recognise what and who distracts and drains you and make managing these important to you.
Recognise how you can harness courage to move yourself toward happiness and success. Where are you confident and courageous in your life, and where you might be holding back or playing small. Courageousness makes tough decisions and difficult conversations easier.
Objectively look at how productive and effective you feel in key the areas of your life. Model the behaviour of others that are ahead of you. Create and employ tools and strategies to maximise your progress and minimise your distractions to help you move more quickly and easily towards your goals.
Learn to Influence
Gauge how influential you are and recognise that by influencing others, they can better support you in your attainment of both happiness and success. Utilising simple practices, you can raise your level of influence and increase the speed at which you move toward your goals.
So how does this work in the ‘real’ world?
It starts by you taking ownership of everything that you experience and everything that happens to you. Every success, every failure, every positive emotion, every negative emotion. No more excuses, no more blame.
Everything has to be future orientated and solution focussed.
Great a clear, simple, concise plan, one that corelates and encompasses your definitions of both happiness and success.
Live the plan sense checking every decision you make against whether it is leading down into discomfort or moving you forward to happiness and success. The single most important factor here is self leadership.
If you want to know more about achieving happiness and success then head over to my 1 on 1 coaching