If you are happy, then you may be successful or not… but, chances are that if you are continually happy then you have achieved some level of success and the inevitable subsequent adaption will come a knocking. Many psychologists believe that we are hardwired to crave change, so at some point, even when we get all we thought we ever wanted… people usually find themselves wanting more. They usually want something new, different, better, faster, shinier, etc.
“One of the enemies of happiness is adaptation” ~Dr. Thomas Gilovich
Maybe you feel like you are perfectly happy already and every week when you drop hundreds or thousands of dollars on a purchase of something that you feel makes you happy. Maybe you buy things on a daily basis that make you happy. Maybe you feel like your success brings you happiness and you avoid adaptation and never reach continual levels of unhappiness. It all depends on your definition of happiness.
If you think of happiness as a state of being perfectly happy with where you are, what you have and where you are going… then you know success will not bring you happiness… you will know that anything you achieve or acquire will “get old” as you adapt to having it around or as it seems more and more like old news, etc.
Some studies suggest that postponing gratification and savoring the anticipation of something you want or desire, can actually be more satisfying than the end result. The idea of having millions of dollars and doing whatever you want or buying whatever you want, can sound so exciting, unless you actually have millions of dollars that you have to worry about losing and the constant stream of thoughts coming in about whether someone is talking to you, just because they know you have millions, or is your financial advisor ripping you off or worrying about whether your spouse is going to realize they could get half of your millions and look for someone better.
- Health can always be compared with better health.
- Wealth can always be compared with more wealth.
- Success can always be compared with more success.
- Relationships can always be compared with better people.
- Excitement will inevitably fade to something more exciting.
What you think you want maybe quite different that what you actually want.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” –Mahatma Gandhi
True success and happiness are ongoing processes that cycle up and down.
Love the process… Do what you love and love what you do.
- Don’t get stuck waiting for complete clarity… take action.
- Don’t fixate on where you want to get to… focus on getting better.
- Don’t take a leap at something you don’t understand… first build a bridge.
- Don’t stop just because you don’t have to keep going… keep going when you can.
- Don’t get stuck being so fearful of failure that you miss out on learning… appreciate your failures.
- Don’t just learn one new skill over and over… build a portfolio and have projects that use the skills you learn.
“Every day, think as you wake up, “Today I am fortunate to have woken up. I am alive, I have a precious human life. I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry, or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” ~Dalai Lama