photo credit Brooke Cagle

Happiness is the new Success

Over the last few years there has been a huge paradigm shift in how to create success which is touching the lives of each of us, and is especially relevant for coaches. For decades we have been conditioned to believe that ambition, drive and determination will help us arrive at success and that this will make us happy. Marketing magnetises us towards the latest ‘must-have’ purchases that has us believing it will create meaning and contentment in our lives and holidays are sold to us on the basis of it solving all our worries and stress.

I even read this quote recently by Ben Stein, ‘The human spirit needs to accomplish, to achieve, to triumph to be happy.’

Success and happiness are often two very different things and the traditional formula of success = happiness no longer fits our need for an authentic life experience. We need more.

How many times have we reached a success pinnacle and soon found ourselves back on the success-happiness
road driving towards a new set of goals, searching for our next adrenaline success fix? Success may well bring us a momentary glimpse of happy, however it can never lead to long-lasting and authentic happiness, as success is driven by our ego.

When we engage our heart and not our head, then we can begin to access true happiness. The joy that comes from appreciating the simplicity of life; a sunset, the dawn chorus, a phone call from a friend out of the blue or the love we feel for family, these become palpable and long lasting experiences of happiness. When we start to access the pleasure we get from doing things that we really love, then happiness becomes a regular feature of our lives – and this is something we can create, in each and every moment. A regular practice of daily gratitudes, meditation or simple mindfulness that keeps us in the moment, offer us doorways through which we can connect with our inner happy. And when we start to tap into our happiness, our success is a step away, because happiness changes our energy, our mind set and our behaviours, which can then lead effortlessly us to the success we crave.

I hear people so often argue against this theory, saying that happiness is just luck and is dependent on outside influences

Part of the initial challenge is to explore what keeps us from happiness; and our search need not move any further than; our fears, expectations, judgements, negative mindsets, living in the past or the future, anger and guilt. These are the natural predators to our happiness survival. And once we have identified those that pose the greatest threat, then we can set to work to defeat the beast and release the space for our happiness to flourish.

Our happiness is just a whisper away when we acknowledge that the power for its resurrection comes from within us and that we have the ability to access it.

So does success bring happiness? Not for long. Turn this formula on its head and we have the scope for a far more authentic feeling, which will last way beyond the effects of the drug we call success.

5As a happiness coach, Karen Davies’ path to HAPPY came through depression and stress. After 25 years in Leadership Development, she realised that whilst her business met my financial needs, it didn’t nurture her heart or her introvert nature, it was just making her ill.

After much soul searching, Karen let her business go and retrained in meditation where she learned to share her passions in a more aligned and nourishing way. She started writing books and is currently developing an on-line business that helps women who feel burnt out, get serious about their happiness and start making it their priority. 

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