Does success equal 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 (Nobel Peace Prize Winner)

Throughout my coaching career, I noticed my clients’ objectives were more often related to success or happiness.

You could say it’s normal: we all want success and happiness.

What if you had to choose between these two?

You might say everyone would choose happiness and that’s expected.

Well, I met some people who said success was what made them happy.

We usually desire what we don’t have and we acknowledge the real value of something or someone only after we lose it, even if we believed it was meaningless beforehand. Even if people are aware of this, it’s still very hard to change this way of thinking.

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One of my client’s objective was to become popular by being successful. Does popularity equal success?

What does popularity actually mean?

To a teenager, it might mean hundreds of likes on social media.

To a corporate employee, it might be great feedback from their boss and peers, and popularity among colleagues.

To a freelancer, this might mean receiving great recommendations from clients and getting new requests for their services quite often.

To a manager, it might mean his team looking up to them and being proud to be a part of them.

To a mother, it might mean that her advice is priceless to other moms and she is often sought for any type of information. And the list may continue.

In conclusion, popularity means different things to each and every one of us. Popularity can come together with success most of the times, yet maintaining popularity is harder than having success. On the other hand, you can be happy without being popular.


What is success?

Is it when you feel accomplished in your professional life? Is it when you can buy whatever you want without thinking about how this will affect your financial situation? Is it when you can take as many vacations as you want?
When you achieved what you aimed for, can you consider yourself successful? Is it enough? Or you start searching, working, fighting for your next success? So, is success something that passes right after you receive credit for your work? How can you keep the period of success longer?

Here’s how John Wooden, the coach who recruited and shaped the career of the famous basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar defined success:

Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.

You can be successful early in life. At school, you get good grades. In the first year at your first job, you are elected Employee of the year. Or as a manager when your recommendations are considered the best ones, etc.


Does being successful at work mean that you are also successful at home?

Why don’t we use the expression “successful at home”?

Why is it that we can be successful at work and at home, we can only be happy? What does it mean to be successful at home: to be the desired wife, a great cook, a caring mother that children brag about at school, a reliable sister, friend or daughter?

Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.

Winston S. Churchill

Any idea on how to measure success?

Is it measured in units, tens, thousands? Grades? Frequency?

Who knows?

For someone getting a tap on the shoulder can be a great success. For someone else only winning an important prize in their area of expertise is considered a success.

What about happiness?

Sometimes we are afraid to say we are happy, just not to jinx it.

Have you ever felt there could be a higher level of happiness and you never know if you are happy enough now, or you could be happier?

Much like the universe, there are known parts of happiness – moments you remember you were happy and they basically become your points of reference when talking about happiness – and unknown future moments that can have higher intensity or frequency.


How would you answer to How happy are you?

Not at all, somewhat, very, so very…

Or are you closer to expressions like I’ve never been so down, I am so, so, I could be better, I never felt so happy, This is the best moment of my life that I will never forget, etc?

I often ask my clients How much happiness do you want?

A bunch? A dozen moments of happiness? An ocean (are you able to handle it)? What does happiness mean? A sunny day in winter, your kid’s smile in the morning, a happy husband, a great meal you cooked for the first time and it came out great, having a beer with a friend, having no worries… You can continue the list.

I think both success and happiness mean different things for each of us and what that makes us successful or happy will not do the same for others.

That’s why there are so many question marks in this article. It’s up to you to find the right answer and the right path to happiness and success.

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Don’t Expect Your Spouse To Make You Happy

Do you expect your spouse to make you happy?

In this article, I am talking about the romantic expectation of relying on your spouse to make you happy and why this is wrong.

“It’s my spouse’s job to make me happy.”

Your happiness is your responsibility. No one can make you happy – or make you feel anything for that matter. According to developmental psychologists, a hallmark of adulthood is taking responsibility for our lives. Our finances, our decisions, and our emotions.

Dr Karin Anderson Abrell, psychologist

If you think your spouse’s main responsibility is to make you happy, think again.

Your spouse is with you out of love and desire to share his/her life with you. Your responsibility as a couple is to support each other on your journey to become the best of yourself and make your lives better in the process. The secret to a healthy and happy marriage is to give.

It’s not your spouse’s job to make you happy. It’s yours.

Fulfilment – another term for happiness

Here are some of the questions you need to find answers to:

Why am I not happy?

What aspects of my life am I unhappy about?

What prevents me from being happy?

Am I happy with my job, with my previous life or career choices?

More often than not happiness is another term for fulfilment.

Discovering what you like and makes you happy and fulfilled is a life-discovering journey. Some know very early on.

For others, it’s about uncovering past emotional traumas which burden their present and darken their future. Theirs is a painful journey, but a necessary step towards change and improvement. With professional support and guidance, it’s possible to heal your emotional wounds. When people heal their emotional wounds, they usually feel liberated and free. It’s like a heavy shadow has been lifted from their minds and hearts.

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

C.G. Jung

Happiness – not a mindset

You cannot wake up one morning and decide you will be happy throughout the rest of your life. Your happiness is not based on your mindset – that is the result. A happy and strong mind is a result of being confident and aware of your strengths and places to grow.

When you’re not happy with yourself, your self-confidence is low and that deters you from opening up to exciting opportunities.

When you feel unworthy of the best things that life has to offer you, you make bad choices in both your personal and professional lives.

Happiness is not a mindset. You cannot will your mind into being happy. The mind is powerful but when you instruct your mind to ignore or erase negative thoughts when they appear instead of addressing them – it does more harm than good.

Your spouse cannot make you feel good about yourself no matter how much he or she tries if you don’t believe it yourself.

Happiness is an inside job

Your spouse may love you, but you must first love yourself to accept his/her love.

Your spouse may support you in achieving your goals, but you must first set goals for yourself.

Your spouse may show empathy towards you, but you must first be aware of your own feelings and emotions.

Your spouse may treat you with respect, but you must first respect yourself through self-care, setting healthy boundaries and building good habits.

Your spouse may be considerate of you, but you must also be aware of your own behaviours and attitudes and how they influence your life and the lives of the people around you.

Your spouse may give you all that, but he/she cannot give you happiness because happiness is an inside job.

Happiness will be fleeting if you constantly search for it in places that can be taken away. It’s an inside job.

Nikki Rowe, author of Once A Girl, Now A Woman

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What is The Happiness Equation?

We are used to talk about working hard, discipline,motivation, passion for what we do and that will make the business grow,but we hardly think and talk about what makes us happy and makes us choose a certain professional path.

The Happiness Equation is a book wrote by Neil Pasricha that may change the way you think about everything—your career, your business, your relationships, and ultimately, yourself.

The book is the result of an unrelenting search, over more than a decade, to hack human happiness. It contains the collective wisdom of hundreds of positive psychologists, dozens of Fortune 500 CEOs, and thousands of personal interviews. From Germany to Japan, from Buddha to Vonnegut, from Hitchcock to Home Alone, Neil Pasricha, the New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Awesome focused on one life-changing questions: what is the simplest formula for a happy life?

According to Melanie Ginsburg’s article on Medium.com, research suggests that only 10% of our happiness is based on life circumstances. The other 90% of our happiness is based on our genetic predisposition and the specific things we do to improve our happiness. That means you can actually train your brain to be happy. Some things that Pasricha suggests is walking three times a week, writing about positive experiences, doing acts of kindness, completely unplugging, meditating, and practicing gratitude.

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