Archive for September, 2012

Chicken and egg: happiness and success

September 25, 2012

Happiness or success – which comes first?

There’s a strong relationship between happiness and success, which one comes first?

Most people will discuss how success affects happiness, rarely the other way around. Their formula is clear: work harder, be successful and then you’ll be happier.

Ask friends and colleagues about success and the answer is often ‘I’m working hard now so I can be happy when …’

But wasn’t getting the dream job, buying the perfect house, the sports car, meeting the ideal partner or achieving the goal supposed to make you happy? How many of them thought they’d be happy once they achieved these things?  Why didn’t the ‘success leads to happiness’ formula work?

It’s hard to find happiness as a result of success if the goal posts of success keep changing.

For example, you want a specific type of car and know you will be happy beyond measure when you finally get it. And you’re happy and enjoy everything about it … for a while. How long does it take for you to think ‘OK this is great, but what I really want next is …’

Success and achievement are sequential and  incremental. One achievement leads to the next, usually in the form of a new, more challenging goal and a plan to get there. So we need to learn to be grateful for what we’ve achieved, stop and enjoy the plateau before scaling the next face and be happy in the journey as well as the destination.

If you reverse the order of the formula, you end up with greater happiness and greater success.


Look for opportunities and select those that empower your life

September 18, 2012

Go with the flow or seek out success?

Your success in life doesn’t only depend on ability, training and experience; it also depends on your determination to accept the right opportunities presented to you. Opportunities in life come by creation, not by chance.

Be open to opportunities and pursue those that are right for you. Each needs to be carefully considered. Some may appear right, but their timing isn’t. Others may seem positive but the costs in time, effort or money don’t make them worthwhile.

Consider the balance of your life and decide what makes sense; can you really take on a new business opportunity requiring many hours work if you currently work full time and have a young family? Could you instead break the opportunity into smaller parts that you can fit into your life? Successful people are defined in equal measure by what they do and what they choose not to do. Knowing the difference requires determination and experience.

Only you can decide what’s right for you. Listen to your intuition; ‘go with your gut’ is another way of saying this. Does it feel right or not? Does it align with your major purpose, or is it a distraction?  Saying no to some activities to open the way for others is smart. Some people take on so many things that nothing ever gets finished.

We create the opportunities presented to us, not by some magical process of wishing for good luck, wealth or success, but by every decision – large and small – we’ve made in our lives and what we’ve learnt from the results.

We experience, learn and grow and then make better decisions. If we view life through a positive lens we’re more open to receive opportunities. I believe that many opportunities fly by us during our lives and most people are oblivious to them, afraid to take them or happy in their comfort zone. If the opportunities excite you and feel right then grab them; you’ve earned the chance, so use it to your best advantage.

Positively successful

September 10, 2012

… and be successful

Positive thinking is based on the belief that we will get what we want and by taking action we’re in the process of fulfilling our dreams, destiny, goals or success. The words are interchangeable but the destination is the same.

We’ve all heard of the term ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’; it means believing that results will come to us when we fashion our lives according to our personal beliefs. This comes with a warning; our results positive or negative depending on what we think.

To quote James Allen: Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so you shall become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.

We can make something positive happen today when we’re prepared to open the door to the opportunities that will make us happy and lead us to fulfillment and success.

Prosperity consciousness

September 3, 2012

Unlock your limitations

When it comes to the prosperity, or lack of it, what you create is determined by your vision and the strength of your beliefs. Now that doesn’t mean idle dreams or empty wishes, but your actual vision.  It may be monetary, spiritual, physical, emotional, a sense of achievement or fulfilment.   It may be your career, sport, hobby, family or relationships. It may be big or small. It will usually be a combination and it will be unique to you.

Here’s the problem. It’s easy to be caught in the flow of life and fail to understand that we win, lose or remain where we are as a consequence of our thoughts and actions.

It’s easy to believe that ‘going with the flow’ will lead to happiness and success. That rarely happens. The flow has enough form to provide a comfortable and satisfying life; this is the structure of society that provides a safety net for those in need. We can be subdued by the warm waters and float along happily passing the time.

For some this is enough.  But many yearn for more and feel the emptiness of a nice but not exceptional life. They want more and look to society to provide it. This isn’t unexpected; we’ve been brought up to live by the majority’s rules. And when we want more this can be viewed with scorn by others who want us to be just like them, floating along, not creating any waves.

Most will say they want more but aren’t prepared to do anything about it. Strength of mind, a challenging goal, taking action and the possibility of failure are not risks some are prepared to take. So they stay in their comfort zone, and be happy when others do the same.

They will speak of luck, fortune and chance.  They will blame their history, opportunities, society, destiny or fate; anything other than taking responsibility for themselves. They will be swallowed up by the ‘system’, plodding through their daily existence, looking for someone to tell them what to do and what to think next.

To them it’s comforting to think that wealth, success, and happiness are the result of luck.  Because even though they don’t have these things and don’t expect they ever will, they take solace in the belief they never had a chance.  They‘re jealous of the lucky ones and absolve themselves of any responsibility for their own lives of quiet desperation.

By contrast, some ‘lucky’ few will break away with the determination to take the path less travelled and chase their success.

The path you choose, your action, results and consequences are up to you. What are you prepared to risk for success?