Happiness and success go hand-in-hand in all walks of life

WOULDN'T it be great if we could be happy all the time?

Maybe not.

Being occasionally unhappy helps us appreciate the happy times. It's interesting to note that happy people are often more successful in many areas of their lives. The question then becomes: are they successful because they are happy, or are they happy because they're successful?

Research has shown that success often follows happiness, and not the other way around. This is an interesting thing to contemplate, given our culture's obsession with making ourselves unhappy in our search for success (have you ever been on a diet?).

Arguably, you will be more productive and focused when you are happy - and this will usually contribute to success but I think there's more to the story.

Surely, your definition of success will influence your feelings of happiness. For most of us, more is better, so we embark on a relentless drive to acquire more (whether you want more dollars, shoes, or other material possessions). But do we spend any time thinking about what we really need to be happy?

I often find that people are surprised that they already possess the resources needed for a happy existence. Therefore, the only way for you to be happy is for you to make a decision about what success looks like for you. The key is to make sure that your goal (which you will regard as success) follows the SMART principles. It must be Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Reliable, and Time-bound. Vaguely suggesting that you would like to increase your fitness is not a solid goal, but suggesting that you'd like to spend seven hours a week in the gym is clearly defined, and will make you feel good when you've achieved it.

So this week, take a few minutes to write down what success looks like for you. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks - it's your happiness that is on the line.

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