Saturday, March 10, 2012

Happiness and Success: Which Comes First?

Earlier in the week I posted a link to an article called, "Happiness Makes Your Brain Work Better" on the OO Facebook page. Seems like something that would be quite obvious to us optimists, but nonethless I'm always interested in reading about things like this and thought you would be too. Anyway, the article included not only great content, but also a great TED talk called, "The Happy Secret to Better Work" by the author of The Happiness Advantage , Shawn Achor.

I wanted to include it in today's post in case you didn't have a chance to check it out yet, or, of course, if you just want to watch it again. ;)

It's 12 minutes that will bring you great information, interesting insights, tips to improve your level of happiness, and a good laugh. I promise!

One of the things that resonated with me was this:

"Success doesn't define happiness. Happiness defines success." 

Interesting. I've written a bunch of times about the link between happiness and success, but for some reason, this time I think it really "stuck" for me. 

I don't think I would be alone in saying that most of us believe that our level of happiness is directly related to our level of "success" in life, whatever that may be. Or perhaps we think that in order to be truly happy, we must be "successful", and until we reach that point, we can't be at our happiest.

I find this so interesting because these two ideas, "success" and "happiness", are some of the most hard-to-define concepts we have in life. Who can really say what "success" is for everyone? And the same goes for happiness. Isn't that the million dollar question: "How do we define happiness?" We must measure these two elements on a strictly individual scale - and no two persons' ideas of these can be the same. 

That being said, I do think that we should all be in the mindset that "happiness defines success" because having a positive outlook and attitude fuels our engagement and relationships, whether they be with friends or family, strangers, or even at work.

For me, the connection is clear:

When we are happy, we are more inclined to do the things that help us continue to feel those great emotions, which leads us to the building upon our strengths, having the courage to go the extra mile, and having pride in the things we invest our time in - all allowing us to become "successful" in every area of life. 

So, you've sold me on the idea, Mr. Achor.  I agree that happiness does, indeed, define success. 

What's your take?

Keep Smiling,


  1. Great Article! Thank You for posting the Video.. Very informative and enlightening! Never heard of TED before. I think happiness = success in whatever you do!

    1. Thanks! Glad you liked the video - TED is an amazing resource and there are short videos like this on thousands of should "shop around" the site and watch some more videos on topics of interest to you. I know you'll love it!

  2. Agreed. I believe you can't have one without the other!

    1. Hey Vanessa! Great to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by to read this post. You're right - it is often hard to have one without the other, but I believe the order of those is what matters! Happiness first, success will follow!

  3. I do not think you would make much of a success of life if you were miserable all the time.


Please Share Your Thoughts! I Appreciate Your Comments and Can't Wait to Hear from You!