When it comes to achieving happiness and success, people tend to look for quick fixes. Or they approach it in a backwards fashion. A lot of people spend time and money trying to buy happiness when it’s already available without costing a cent. Some people wish and dream of a day when they can afford the things they feel will make them happy and successful. Like a new home, exotic vacations, and more. More and more these days, the idea of success equals stuff, things and money.
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The thing is, happiness and success are not derived from tangible things. It’s a state of mind that allows you to further your progress in both your personal and professional life. A mindset that means you’re achieving goals and reaching new milestones toward a better life.
To get yourself into this state of mind, you have to develop daily habits. Habits that help you get more done during the day, meet obligations, and lie down at night with a smile on your face.
I hear so many people say things like, "I'll be happy when...", "does success lead to happiness?", Or "success brings happiness". I have my own opinions on comments like these. But before you carry on reading this post, I want you to sit and think about this question:
"What is your idea of happiness and success?
How to achieve success and happiness
For me, I believe success is NOT the key to happiness. I'm not even sure happiness is the highest level of success. But instead, I think you need a balance. You need to develop strong daily habits that will move you forward in the direction you want to go.
1. Account for Your Future
Life is happening. It’s being lived whether you feel like you are in control or not. Every day that you wake up and go to bed is 24 hours of time that’s passed. For some people, those 24 hours don’t amount to anything special except the passage of time.
For others, they accomplished things that bring them happiness. And they contributed to the success that they envision for themselves. The difference in these two types of people is that one lets life drive them, and the other drives their own life.
Every day that you have to live is a day that you can control whether you’re happy. Whether you’re going to be successful. And, believe it or not, it begins with a plan. What are you going to do today that creates your own success and happiness?
What steps are you going to take today to reach your goals? If you don’t know what steps to take, then you have no course of action. If that sounds like something you’ve struggled with, it is okay. You can learn how to account for your future.
By doing this, you’ll start planning ahead for what you want and making it happen. You can plan ahead each day for how you’re going to spend your time. Even your free time (and you definitely need free time) can be planned. Planned so that you’re living a life that’s full of happiness.
Planning ahead is one thing that the world’s most successful people have in common. They don’t fly by the seat of their pants and let things occur. They craft and design the kind of life that they want to live.
They know that time is a commodity – perhaps one of the most valuable things to consider. They spend their time it wisely.
Most people are great at investing in the lives of others. You spend time doing things that bring happiness to people. You work hard to make others successful. Whether those people are your work relationships or your personal ones.
There’s nothing wrong with investing in others.
But, you absolutely need to learn how to invest in your own life. If you don’t, you’re actually withdrawing from the stores of happiness and success that could be yours and not any making deposits.
Without banking your happiness and success, it will be a long, hard struggle to get what you want. Some people make plans well ahead of time, and others do it in smaller increments.
You might plan for something you want to achieve for happiness and success next month or the next day. However you do it, is entirely up to you. But you need to have an idea of how you want your day to unfold. Be specific, never vague. That way, you have a way to measure whether or not the day was a success.
2. Picture the Realisation of Your Dreams
This is a beneficial way to visualise what it is that you want. When you use visualisation, you'll find it easier to keep your focus. This works to keep you motivated. Studies have shown that motivated people are happier and less stressed than those who aren’t.
It’s also true that people who visualise what it is they want to achieve tend to find more inner satisfaction. The daily act of taking the time to picture your ideas allows you to appreciate the journey.
You’ll be able to find happiness, even when things go wrong. That is, if whatever steps you’re taking focus on seeing your dreams come true. Close your eyes and visualise yourself decorating your new home, seeing your bank account with a certain amount of money in it. Or maybe being welcomed home with open arms by a loving family.
This act of visualisation will help you start living the role of the life you want to be in. But you don’t want to stay chained to disappointment for what hasn’t manifested itself yet.
Being appreciative of your current situation and where you’re headed is essential, too. Be grateful for the things and the opportunities that come your way that allow you to chase after what you want.
If you have good health that allows you to do what you want to do, be thankful for that. Whenever opportunities come along, recognise them for what they are. A step toward the future you want.
Even when obstacles crop up, appreciate them. Because obstacles mean that you’re moving forward. They suggest you’re taking action to make the picture of your dreams a reality.
3. Find a Daily Challenge
When you challenge yourself in any area of your life, you end up experiencing personal growth. By sticking to what you already know and if you only do the things you’re good at, you stay stagnant.
Choose an area of your life to challenge yourself in. For example, challenge yourself to do more than you thought you could in a exercise program.
Maybe instead of doing 30 minutes a day of walking, try for 45 minutes. You’ll gain a sense of accomplishment that will make you feel both happy and successful.
Try a new food. Try things that are outside of your comfort zone. This broadens your horizons and can help you learn about other cultures. Maybe you find happiness in cooking, so this can bring your family together, too.
Learn something new. People that continually grow in knowledge challenge their brain. This can be a new language, book, or skill. It could be something like taking a dance lesson or visiting a place that moves you. This shakes up your life and gives you a more in-depth perspective on life.
Reframe a failure in your mind. Every single person on the planet has a failure of some kind in their lives. They tried something, and it didn’t work out the way they wanted. They couldn’t achieve a goal or couldn’t grasp enough of the knowledge needed to make something work.
Have a look back at something you tried, and really wanted, but gave up on. Sometimes the passing of time can add fresh ideas. You'll also find you gain a better understanding of why the failure happened.
It could even be that you just weren’t prepared for that success. When you challenge yourself daily, you’ll find a sense of happiness because of the completion of each task.
Finishing a task or a project contributes to success. It’s especially rewarding when you go back to something you previously failed at. Remember, it took many tries before the lightbulb finally worked!
4. Make It a Point to Give Every Day Your All
We all have areas of life that we hold back in. I know I definitely do. Maybe it comes out of fear of looking stupid, or fear of failure. But working hard every single day is the key to success. Of course, don't forget to take breaks, too.
For everything that you try your hand at, you have to give it your all. Even if it’s working around your house. Don't get caught up on perfection for too long, but never settle for “good enough.” Keep going! Even if you have to start the task all over again, work hard to make it right.
Give your all with work and in personal relationships. You'll soon see the difference between doing enough and doing as much as you can. I reckon it will shock you at how much better things are when you try hard.
Be present in everything you do every day. Always refuse to let yourself go through life on autopilot. You can tell if you’re on autopilot if you finish doing something, but you can’t remember parts about doing the task.
Your body was there working, but your mind was already off on something else. When you’re present, it can give you an appreciation for what you’re doing and for what you have.
Some people call this mindfulness. You leave multitasking behind and focus on one thing at a time. One conversation, one meal, one project. It helps you maximise your effort and emerge with better results.
5. Stop Working When It’s Time to Stop
Your life is a series of seconds, minutes and hours each day. It’s important to work hard because this contributes to your happiness and success. There’s nothing wrong with being the kind of person who works hard.
If you are working so many hours that the line between work and free time is blurred, it’s time to take a step back.
There’s a reason that taking time off from work is essential. This helps you recharge your batteries and enables you to relax and not lose sight of the big picture of your life. Work is only a part of your life. Other aspects of life are equally as important.
By allowing work to take over, everything else gets thrown out of balance. This is one of the reasons that people start to eat unhealthily when they’re working too hard.
They get too tired or too stressed to take the time to prepare a healthy meal. It’s easier to grab whatever is convenient. If they took the time to de-stress, they would be making healthier decisions.
You’ll experience more happiness and success if you set work boundaries. People that have a definitive line between their work and off time are far more successful. It sounds odd, but when you take time off, you can actually improve your work performance.
Not doing this will lead to unhappiness, stress and can affect your relationships. Besides, you need to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Having a predetermined quitting time will enable you to make plans for that!
6. Protect Your Sleep Time
Striving to find personal satisfaction - especially if you’re trying to build a business - can impact your sleep. I don't know about you, but I can definitely relate to this.
But what you might not know is that when you skip out on getting enough sleep, you can sabotage yourself. Losing sleep leads to feelings of unhappiness, anxiety and irritability.
Also, when you don’t get the sleep that your body needs, it leads to a loss of productivity. You will begin to slow down physically and cognitively. Because your body can’t function at top performance when it doesn’t have the right amount of sleep.
You’ll find thousands of articles that will tell you that you must get at least eight hours of sleep every night. But the truth is that eight hours can be too much for some and not enough for others.
Whether you’re getting the right amount of sleep for your body can be determined by how you feel in the mornings. If you wake up and you feel refreshed, that’s a sign that you’re getting enough sleep.
Feeling sluggish means that you’re not getting the right amount. Getting enough sleep replaces the energy stores that you drain during the day. If you fail to refill that, you’ll be running on a deficit the next day.
Sometimes the unhappiness in our personal lives or the work stress will prevent a good night’s sleep. It’s a vicious circle because a lack of sleep contributes to the same issues.
If you’re not sleeping enough, start by examining your sleep habits. At you getting to bed early enough? Are you sleeping in a cool room with no distractions? Is your bedding comfortable?
Make sure you get to the root of the issue. Because sleep is one healthy habit that will interfere in every part of your life. It may start making you miserable and possibly make you take out your frustrations on others.
7. Make Exercise and Eating Right a Priority
Having a daily habit of exercising can create happiness. When you exercise, your body releases the feel-good hormones that can lift your mood. When you exercise every day, even if it’s going for a walk, you help improve the way your organs can do their jobs.
You make it easier for them to function. You also create more mental alertness in your brain when you exercise. Because you increase the way that your organs can get the oxygen that they need.
Not getting enough oxygen can affect your organs, including your brain. Without the right amount of oxygen, your ability to think and to work through ideas may be impaired.
But when you exercise, you create a way for your whole body to benefit, producing a sense of happiness. Making sure that you eat right can go a long way toward creating success and happiness in your life, too.
When you eat the wrong kinds of food, how you feel physically and how you feel mentally can be impacted. For example, certain foods zap your energy.
When you eat them, you feel sluggish after your energy levels crash. If you eat a lot of foods that are high on the glycemic index, you’ll experience fatigue. This will affect your performance. Tiredness will make it harder for you to concentrate.
Fatty foods, sugary foods and high carb foods should be eaten in moderation. Think of food as your body’s fuel to propel you through the day where you can get the most done on your task list.