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Happiness or Success?

Updated: Jul 5, 2021

Are successful people happy or are happy people successful?

According to a Harvard Business Review study, happiness is one of the strongest contributors to success. A stressed state results in your brain using more of its processing capacity to deal with perceived threats, stealing vital resources from the pre-frontal cortex which deals with effective problem solving. And we all know how good our imagination is in creating endless scenarios.

A happy state allows you to perceive more opportunities when problem solving therefore making you more creative and productive (31% more compared to negative state).

We need to move away from our current happiness model that dictates we should be happy only once we get something (‘if-then’ model). Once I get my promotion then I will feel great or the more relatable, once I have my hummus then I will be happy. Once you get there, you set another goal and so on so you chase a horizon.

And when you are stressed, your brain releases cortisol which reduces your brain performance, as energy starts flowing to your body for fight or flight instead of brain for thinking, so it becomes harder to focus, brain performance drops, and you become less productive. Therefore, wellbeing and happiness are extremely important to your success.

Happiness is a muscle that needs daily training and intention setting. Habits that increase your happiness include journalling, helping others, gratitude work, meditation and exercise as they release the required brain chemicals and set the right mindset and focus.

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