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Choose happiness over success

Photo credit: time spent with this guy (my husband) is some of my happiest

If you’re anything like me, you’ve chased success for as long as you can remember. Whether it’s been big or small, success has always held the promise of making you very happy...and that’s pretty damn irresistible.

Once that promotion comes through, we’ll be happy. If we just recruit a few new team members, we’ll be happy. We’ll upgrade the family home, happy! And park our new soft-top car in the driveway, too much happiness – can’t function!!

We continue to chase a myriad of things we equate to being successful but unfortunately this reveals a very big problem. Success is not a state of being. It is an unattainable goal that we never fully realise for it always continues to grow.

Our vision of success is ever-evolving and whilst this can keep us motivated, it can also be a right royal pain in the ass as it prevents us from ever fully appreciating and relishing in all that we have.

Happiness, on the other hand, can be realised and its state of being never changes. Think of the times in your life you've felt your most happiest. They may have been when you were a child, when you had less life experience and had achieved less 'success' than you have now. Ironically, you were completely satisfied and filled with joy and happiness.

What if we set our eyes on happiness instead of success and trusted that if we could achieve this, we might just feel the most successful than ever before?

OK great idea in theory but what does this actually look like?

Take out your phone and find a picture that makes you really really happy.

If I was a betting woman - which I absolutely am - I’d take a punt that your photo is of a loved one (human or animal) or a beautiful place. It is very unlikely that the one pic you’ve chosen is of that new Gucci Soho Leather bag you’ve had your eye on or the corner office you’ve worked so hard for.

You see, it’s the people and places that fuel our happiness and yet, we rarely set goals for our relationships or how we spend our pastime when we plan for success. So that’s what we’re going to do now.

I want you to take out a piece of paper and write down all the things in your life that make you happy. Perhaps it’s your family or friends, the beach, time spent reading a new book, cooking. Whatever it is, get it down.

Then group your answers into ‘happiness pillars’ why they make you happy? Do they give you a sense of adventure? Calm you? Make you feel loved? Make you feel safe? Excite you?

Finally, commit to injecting something from at least one of your happiness pillars daily and be sure to change pillars with what you need. When happiness habits become your priority life can change in ways you never thought imaginable.

I’d love to know what makes you happy and how you plan on injecting more of this into your life?

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