Success is not a guarantee for happiness

Success is not a guarantee for happiness
My Dad (seen on his back) explaining his profession during an Open House

The mother of my father had to raise 6 children on her own during the crisis of the 30s, because my grandfather died young. So my father had a job from age 12.
He was determined to study and work himself up to a better position.

He went to night school and became a very skilled metalworker. During World War II he was imprisoned in an Arbeitslager.
My father always claimed this hadn’t been too bad because he found refuge in his profession and could perfect his skill there.

Given his history it was understandable why my dad valued working hard and being successful more than being happy.

Are success and happiness connected?

It’s easy to simplify happiness and claim that it’s obvious that successful people are happy. However, if you interviewed 100 successful people, you might be surprised that a large percentage of them are not as happy as you think they ought to be. 

The fact is, you can be a millionaire, have a wonderful spouse, great kids, and everything you think you want and still not be happy. The truth is the other way around: happiness fuels success.

Success and happiness quote
  • Happiness leads to more productivity. When people are happy with the work, they do they tend to be willing to do it a lot more, even for free. Assuming other needs (food, shelter, health) are met, a happy person can find joy doing the most mundane things because they can focus on outcomes instead of just what they are doing.
  • Being happy leads to higher profits. In companies that keep their employees happy by offering a living wage, benefits, and a flexible schedule the profits tend to be a lot higher. One reason is that when a person feels respected in their job even if the work is hard, they are happier about doing it.
  • Happiness leads to stability. When people are happy, they tend to be a lot more stable, stick to tasks longer, and are more likely to complete an assignment. In addition, they tend to job hop a lot less. This is one reason smart employers know that by making work a happy place they can reduce job hopping. 
  • Happiness leads to a higher work ethic. Most people think of work ethic as something you must suffer to experience, but for happy people, they tend to stick to their jobs longer and work even harder. The main reason is that they have the energy to do it and can envision the outcomes more positively.
  • Feeling happy is not about wealth. Everyone knows someone who has plenty of money but is not happy and maybe even hateful. They seem to have everything but happiness. Because of this, it’s clear that being happy doesn’t always directly correlate to the circumstances you find yourself in regarding your bank account balance. 
Success and happiness seen through pink glasses
  • Being happy colors the lens by which you see life. The surprising truth about happiness is that if you practice happiness it will begin to affect how you see everything in the world. You’ll be able to pick out the most positive things no matter the situation.
  • Happiness is about today – happiness is really all about today. If you’re happy today, you’re more likely to eat right, move more, get your work done, and do everything well. Naturally, that is going to affect the future too.
  • Happiness is a mindset – it’s hard to imagine it is true, but it is. Happiness is about your mindset. Thankfully, with work, you can train your mindset to be happier and more positive despite your current circumstances.

Yes, bad things do happen to good people and can bring them down. However, the truth is, happiness can be experienced by most anyone regardless of where they are in life right now in terms of their success. 

It just requires you to accept that you can be happy, right now, without anything changing. Where at the same time you can develop plans to make changes.

ONE well-spent hour before breakfast

2 thoughts on “Success is not a guarantee for happiness”

  1. Excellent and helpful, Hannie. I would add that having a purpose will bring happiness. If not, then it will keep sadness at bay while making your life meaningful – and the world just a little better.


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