We’ve all been there: we want to be successful and happy, we want to enjoy doing a great job – yet for many people these remain amongst our most elusive goals. We flit between moments of illusory happiness and dulling pain, we glimpse true joy in the eyes of others, very rarely in our own. Yet at the same time, overextension has become the norm—we are always on, always chasing deadlines, always checking in.
Let’s dive in: happiness can be defined as an emotion of overarching positivity.
Remarkably, yet contrary to popular belief, happiness leads to success, not the other way around.
If you are constantly chasing success over happiness you will reach a point where you realise that outwardly defined success and the trappings of wealth often come with an inward tax in the form of burnout, isolation, and overwhelming stress. Sadly, this tax is incremental and you may not notice it until it is too late and their negative effects on your body and your performance are irreversible.
Think about it, you are far better off practising happiness and then finding success, rather than sacrificing happiness in the hope of achieving success. Put it another way, delayed gratification is not a wise strategy.
So it all adds up to this: happiness is important for four reasons:
- Improving emotional balance by providing a buffer against, and reducing, the
impact of stressors.
- Sparking connections in our brain that foster agility and creativity.
- Improving core body functions, such as cardiovascular flow, immune system
function, and inflammation reduction.
- Increasing the intensity of social interactions, in contrast to anxiety and
depression, which induce self-centeredness.
It’s that simple, get these four things right and your optimise your performance and, as a result, improve the probability that you will be successful.
But be warned: you may find yourself redefining what success looks like for you. You may find that fame, notoriety and material wealth become far less important to you than being happy and experiencing joy.
Find out how to follow your heart and find new happiness and fulfilment in my new book, Fierce Reinvention: A Guide to Harnessing Your Superpowers for Entrepreneurial and Leadership Success ($11.99 digital, $15.99 print (USD), October 2017) is available from Amazon.