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4 April 2017

The bond between the Pursuit of Happiness and the Success Pathway

What is happiness? What causes happiness?

Before we can try to define ‘happiness’ first, we should try to figure out what Happiness is Not!
‘You cannot buy happiness’
This old adage has a more meaningful and deeper truth to it. Though the presence of money and other material things can ease one’s life, however, they cannot fulfil what the soul needs. So no, wealthy is not happiness – it is means to happiness but not happiness.
No person can ever find themselves having arrived to Happiness final destination therefore, one does not wake up one day and say, “Are we there yet?” because happiness takes effort to maintain it. The sources of short-term happiness such as getting a new job usually fade with time once the receivers get used to them.
So what is happiness?
Happiness is a choice – you can either choose to be happy or choose not to be! Stress is part of life but how one let it affects them is also a choice. An individual’s reaction to stress and other negative emotions will either give power over their happiness to external factors or reclaim it – depending on their actions.
Through time, science has tried to define happiness and since the beginning, religion has told people what happiness is but through all this, it can be revealed that happiness does not fall in the ‘one size fits all’ mould. One man’s definition of happiness differs from the next individual’s definition, in other words, our mental mind-sets dominate and characterise our outlook on happiness.

Happiness and Success

Success is a moving target.
For motivated people, target never stands still and therefore as people, we should avoid measuring our happiness by our success but rather it should be the other way around; happiness should precedes success. A driven person will always move their success target once they reach their set goal e.g. getting a job promotion will results in one wanting to get to a higher office position or even wanting to own one’s business and therefore basing one’s happiness on the level of one’s success will most of the time result in disappointment. Any happiness that is born of success will only lasts until the adrenaline of the success evaporates.
The number one goal for most of people is to be ‘happy’ but the definition of happiness is different from each individual.
Happiness should be constructed and rooted within for it to have a major impact in an individual’s life. People who visit their inner being to develop their happiness usually have better chances of making it out stronger when faced with hardships than those who base their happiness on circumstances’ outcomes. There is no argument that happiness and success are connected but none can replace the other.
Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present. - Jim Rohn

Habits and Happiness

Our day-to-day habits act as our happiness investment – is how we react to stress, how much we value ourselves and our significant relationships that build or break our happiness voyage and therefore have a massive impact on our success outcome.
A recent neuroplasticity research pointed out that the ability of the brain to change even in adulthood demonstrate that as humans develop and acquire new habits, their brain is also rewired and as such, one can train their brain to be positive. Old habits are hard to break as they have become part of our lives through automation for example, if every time you are thirsty you unconsciously reach for soda instant of water that is an acquired habit – a negative one! To break this habit, one can slowly introduce water by making sure that they drink a glass of water before bed and first thing when they wake up then they can introduce a third glass of water at noontime then from there on they can take it to another level by drinking a glass of water before every meal. It may take time to break this habit but one should remember that this habit was not formed overnight and so it will take time to end it.
Happiness is a form of art that can be learnt.
Try to invest in your happiness by training your mind to focus on one positive thing every day for the next three weeks and see the impact it will have in your overall life outlook. By focusing on positive things in your life, you create your own world – a world you have a powerful saying in it. Activities that can fuel your positive mindset:
  • Meditate for at least 5 minutes every day;
  • Include exercise in your daily route;
  • Go over the things you are grateful every day before bedtime and every morning when you wake up;
  • Try to compliment at least one person everyday;
  • At the end of your day, try to go over ‘life lesson’ you learnt from your daily experience;
  • Dedicate at least four days in which you eat healthy thus a day every week totalling 48 days a year of healthy eating.
  • Keeping a gratitude journal as a form of a technique to explore happiness in different forms.
So how do you train your mind new and positive habit? Repetition. Repeating a behavioural pattern will result with the behaviour getting engraved in one’s ‘neural pathways’. And that is the best way to develop and maintain a new habit.
Choosing the ‘right’ habit should start with the question, ‘why?’ Why do I want to meditate 5 minutes a day? Why do I want to include exercise in my daily route? Asking this question will help one determine whether they are developing a habit for the right reason or not.
The success journey is a learning curve that should bring an individual happiness as they learn new and valuable habits that lead to meaningful life therefore it is with gradual developed, positive, and mindful habits that one can attain true happiness.