The short answer is no; success doesn’t lead to happiness. Many of us have found that it's a myth that achieving goals will lead to fulfillment. I am, and many of my clients are proof that this is the case.
But doing what makes you happy CAN help you create a fulfilling life. "Really?" You ask. "Success may not lead to happiness, but experiencing joy is one of the primary ways to achieve success?" That's right! And I didn't believe it either. Not for a long time.
I spent decades believing I HAD to chase the version of myself that others deemed successful. I thought I would be successful if I made a certain amount of money, had certain brands of shoes and bags, and took lavish vacations. I was sassy, put together, and people in board rooms listened to me. I paid no attention to the toll those things took on me. I wasn't happy at all.
I wasn't convinced after I collapsed at work from fatigue, illness, and stress. After being medically evacuated from a foreign country, I also kept going and had to take months off after having baseball-sized tumors removed from my torso. I felt that working myself nearly to death was the trade-off we all must face. I was wrong and it was painful for the people around me to watch.
It took a series of unfortunate and repeated events like these for me to question my definition of success. After many discussions with mentors and finally, me hiring my own coach to unwind my beliefs, I started down a new path. I have a new definition of success that does not include working 70 hours a week and chasing validation from corporate clients and superiors. Instead, it focuses on what makes me happy, and it looks like this:
- Do I practice mindfulness?
- Do I find joy in what is?
- Am I celebrating the power of coaching others and helping them improve their lives?
- Am I paying attention to the process versus the outcome?
These questions are what sustain me now. It wasn't easy to redefine my success this way, and my old beliefs like to jump in and wave their arms around to get attention, but I am holding steady; I am happy AND successful, and you can be too! Take a look at the article below and evaluate how many of these you practice today or could incorporate into your daily routine. And, if you want more - hop on over to my bookings page. We can talk (FREE)!
9 Science-Backed Ways to Become Happier
Practice something challenging.
Connect with someone.
Be intellectually curious.
Be open to new experiences.
Express physical affection.
Strengthen your relationships.