What comes first, the chicken or the egg? It’s a riddle that seems impossible to solve. Same goes for success and happiness… which comes first, happiness or success? Not having “success” is a reason some people give for not being happy but the truth is a lot more nuanced.
When we look at the data coming out of positive psychology, we find that happy people have more satisfying relationships, make more money, have more lasting relationships and have other positive outcomes that we aspire to. You might think, “Of course they are happy! They are successful! Their marriage is #relationshipgoals! They are making 6 figures! It’s easy not to cry in your yacht!”
But the truth is, happy is what helps you get to those things. The happiness that comes in the process helps us attract the things we want, helps us find the energy to keep going towards what we want, helps us be present to do the things to get us where we want to be, and makes us more productive.
If you feel like you can’t get happy without being successful, it might be worth looking at your definition of successful. What does success look like to you? If you’re waiting to achieve your big goal to define your progress as successful, you could be missing out on a lot of momentum.
Success isn’t just about reaching the finish line. Success is in each step. When you celebrate each part of the journey, that’s what helps you win the race. And when you realize that you’re in your own race, the wins keep coming.
Sometimes it’s not about not having success but seeing other successful people that can get us down. We get comparison-itis. We see the highlight reel without seeing the struggle behind the scenes. It’s tempting to shake your fist at the sky and say “How can I be happy when everyone is winning but me?”
When we know how much we struggle, watching an “easy win” can feel demoralizing. But when we accept everyone has their own stuff and we just have to keep running our own race, it doesn’t matter how fast other people are going, we can just settle in and find our pace.
I know a thing or two about races, I am an endurance runner and I find my happy pounding the pavement day after day. It’s what helps me feel together, strong and successful. It helps me manage stress and build my self-efficacy muscles because I know what I can achieve when I put my mind to.
I can find happy knowing what I can do, and so can you. You don’t have to become successful to get happy. But you do have to get happy to find success. When you feel negative about life, you might not even notice the wins. But when you can lift your head up and smile, the light you shine helps you see what you might have missed out on before – the joy of a win you never thought possible.
I don’t know a lot about chickens and eggs but I do know happy can help you break out of your shell and find what you’re looking for. Want to get happy? Get on the waitlist for our Happy Academy, 10 month program that begins in August.