What is the Relation Between Success and Happiness
Happiness and success refer to 2 major various things that people want to achieve in their lives. However, many people also believe that these two fundamental concepts are the same. On the contrary, sociologists and psychologists believe that happiness and success are not the same, though can be tightly related and even intertwined. The success stories that you’ve heard probably made you think that achieving success can automatically make you happy. In fact, all of us know that not all successful – i.e. rich and famous – people seem happy or satisfied with their lives.
That is why the experts from Psychology Today tried to figure out the answers to the questions about the relations and differences between happiness and success. If you are also wondering how to be happy and do you need to be successful for finding happiness, the following thoughts and opinions may help you.
The major success principles
When we think about the term “success” the first thing that comes to our mind is the personal development and achievement of a certain goal. For instance, when a student who studied the subject passes the exam with the highest grade this can be considered as a big achievement for him. This is his moment of success. And when a person can succeed in doing a certain task, it is quite natural for him to feel pleased or even happy about it. As a result, success can bring happiness in his life. However, success is just a happiness’ advantage, a temporary feeling that gives more of a sense of accomplishment than satisfaction.
Also, many of us are success hunters because when we achieve something the close to us people tend to praise and cherish us. However, such reaction can be called real happiness. It is just tickling your pride and ego, in this case, happiness is not true to life because it comes from outside, not from inside. Keeping this mind, you can better understand what is happiness in reality. Happiness is not a temporary feeling of pride or satisfaction delivered by success. It is a much deeper and complex concept.
The art of happiness
Those people who are wondering how to be happy in life, commonly forget about that being happy mostly doesn’t depend on the outside factors or people surrounding us. Happiness is a feeling of content. This feeling can occur in different ways – one can feel content when seeing a breathtaking landscape, the other one – when playing with his or her kids. Creative activities and hobbies can also make us happy. Many psychologists agree that real happiness can’t appear when you are competing or trying to feel satisfied. You can’t make yourself happy – this feeling can’t appear whenever you want. Success, from the other hand, can happen as you’ve planned it.
Also, the popular philosophical theory about happiness claims that real happiness is not related to success, though many people directly connect these concepts and try achieving success to feel more content and happy. In the meantime, there are moments in life that can already make them happy and bring a lot of joy, but still, most people prefer chasing the “perfect” happiness by succeeding others’ dreams.
Success can’t make you happier – it can bring you money, fame, pride, but never happiness. However, happiness without success can also be clouded by such inevitable life problems as lack of money, bad reputation, unsatisfactory work, etc. Most psychologists recommend trying to achieve the “golden mean” between happiness and success.
For example, a recent review of more than 220 studies made by the Psychological Bulletin discovered that happiness can’t follow the success. In fact, for many people who are looking for the answer “How to find happiness?”, eventually come to the conclusion that happiness leads to success, not the other way. This doesn’t necessarily denote that happy people will always turn to be successful or never feel depressed. A healthy mind power and well-being can’t happen if you have never experienced painful emotions in response to difficult and tragic life situations. In fact, these studies proved that happy people tend to experience more negative emotions related to the challenging life experiences.
Intelligence, social support can lead to success. But, statistically, happy individuals are more likely to have satisfying marriages, higher incomes, better work performance, better health, and even a longer life.
So, basically, the main difference between being successful and be happy is your personal attitude to the various life situations and individual motives. In other words, if you strive for money, you will probably get them one way or another, but don’t expect that money will automatically make you happy.
Strategies for finding happiness in life
According to the expert team of Psychology Today and some recent “studies of happiness” held at the University of California, you don’t need to hire a life coach or be special to find happiness in your everyday life. There are a few simple strategies that can help you be happier:
- You need to be grateful. Just grasp the idea – many people in the world struggle to have, at least, a half of your personal and financial belongings. If you can talk, listen, smile, run, you are healthy, you have healthy friends and family, you have a job and a place where to come back after a work day, consider yourself happy, or, at least, grateful. Many things that we take as granted like healthy parents or a loving spouse can disappear faster than you think. You can’t be sulky if you have all these wonders in your life. Many people would gladly replace their lives with yours.
- You need to be optimistic. No matter what, the positive thinking can save you from unnecessary panic and depression. Visualization of the positive outcomes can increase happiness.
- Count your happy moments more often. At the end of every day, write, at least, 2 positive things that lifted your spirits. Maybe a beautiful stranger smiled to you, or you have finally finished a long and complicated project, or your family surprised you with small gifts or kind gestures.
- Identify your strong points. Then try using your strengths in new ways to be happier or making people around you happier;
- Be kind. Sometimes, helping other people can bring a lot of happiness compared to thinking about yourself.
The most important thing is doing the things that you like. Maybe you won’t be able to earn money with your happy activities or hobbies, but, at least, you will have the positive attitude. Never give up and strive to get new knowledge!