Success Is Not The Key To Happiness Essay

08 May Lesson #24 – Success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success

Posted at 12:23h in Life by Vanessa Budah

Buddha apparently said the above and I took it on board over a decade ago and can swear by it. The statement continues: “If you love what you’re doing, then you will be successful.”

Although recently I discovered that the quote actually came from Albert Schweitzer, a European philosopher and physician. #mindblown. For over a decade I quoted ‘Buddha’. Regardless, this quote always resonates with me and grounds me when important decisions are to be made as I know that happiness and passion will always lead to success in relationships, career and life.

It’s science. Research increasingly suggests a link between happiness and health, now proving that being happier is more likely to make you financially better off (perhaps due to being grateful for what you already have, rather than continue to outdo yourself for the wrong reasons), reduce stress levels, increase life expectancy, improve relationships, relieve depression and anxiety, combat illness and generally improve the quality of our lives.

When I moved to Sydney back in 2008, it was peak GFC. I struggled getting a full-time job and compared myself to 20-somethings who were much younger than me and very ambitious with managerial and executive roles. It made me question myself, “WTF have I done with my life!? I spent so many years travelling, were they wasted? Yeah I had a great time, but how am I supposed to build my career when I’m ‘so late’ into the game?” I couldn’t even lock in an entry-level role at that point.

But I stayed true to myself and continued to choose happiness over success. I eventually secured a job that allowed me to advance in my career pretty quickly.

Something we’ve always preached at Poppy Renegade is: define your own success and happiness, don’t compare yourself or compete with others and don’t let society dictate what makes you successful. Otherwise, we’re endlessly chasing the ‘ideal’ and will never experience contentment.

If ever I feel down or displaced, I check in with myself – is what I’m doing making me happy? My ultimate decision always ensures it does, and therefore I always feel successful. So it’s no surprise that I’m now in the travel industry living out my passion.

Happiness = Success: First work trip for the year.. Europe bound!

How to be happy:

  1. Find something positive in all you do. Seek lasting inner joy in even the little things, not external materialistic pleasure.
  2. By changing your thought process and focussing your attention to the abundance of what is already around you, you can unleash a resource of unlimited potential that can contribute to your life and career. Limit the negative.
  3. Like attracts like – what we focus on we get more of. If you want more positive changes in your life, business and relationships… then it all starts with how YOU choose to be in the world. We all want to be successful in these areas. So if you can find happiness and gratitude in any situation, you’re more likely to attract more positive things.
  4. Smile more often. This was my very first lesson – Life looks better when you smile, as it releases natural good hormones into your system and supports all of the above points.


Main pic cred: Lara Milenko photography

8 Secrets of Truly Successful People

We live in a world where success is defined by achievements. What position you hold in your company? What car you drive? How much you make? What college do your children go to? The list is never ending. Unfortunately, truly successful people do not only have these – material things. Successful people have a good relationship with people and while they strive to do their best in everything, they have a sense of self-fulfillment in what they have accomplished in their careers, family and self. Here are the secrets of truly successful people which will help you realize that you are already successful in your own right – with or without money:

  1. Successful people dream. – Success starts with a dream. Walt Disney before he even became the Walt Disney that he is today was told that he lacked creativity. But, because his dream was bigger than his pride and insecurity, he continued to dream and persevered until his films skyrocketed in popularity and in sales. Because you have a dream, everyday, you will do things that will take you closer to your dream and be successful.
  2. They do not settle for anything less. – Successful people are not perfectionists. However, they know the difference of giving their best to do something. Whenever successful people submit reports to their boss, they make sure their report is comprehensive and is the best that they can ever give. It’s not perfect but it’s their best.
  3. They know that money and power makes the world go round but it is not everything. – How many successful people have you heard who committed suicide? Countless. Why do you think a very beautiful and popular actress who also has a 7-digit money in her bank account preferred to take her own life than spend her millions in this world. It may seem cliché, but the truth is, money and power are not everything. Earning money and power must have a more meaningful purpose. Some work to earn money so they can buy a luxury car or cruise the Caribbean while others aim to be successful in their career so they can give a better education to their children, a better quality of food to their family or to help street children. Successful people understand the difference of having success and being successful.  Your purpose will help you tell the difference between the two.
  4. Successful people are not afraid to fail. – Every time we do something, it is our chance to fail. Whether you do business or bring your 4-year old toddler to sleep in his bedtime, it is a chance to fail – as a businessman, a parent, husband or manager. However, successful people also know that everyday is also a chance to succeed. So they let go of their fear and accept the possibility of failure. In the end whatever decision they take, they are happier and wiser.
  5. Successful people are healthy. – They know that their bodies are their basic capital. So they exercise, eat the right food and get enough rest and sleep because they believe that a sound mind and body will help them become the best person that they can be regardless of their educational attainment or family background.
  6. They learned… and never stopped learning. – Successful people are always looking for ways to learn or improve their skills and knowledge. They find ways to expand their business or to climb in the corporate ladder by equipping themselves with the needed knowledge, technical know-how and personal network.
  7. They surround themselves with successful people. – People are like sponges. Who you spend your time with can affect your mindset. Successful person would surround himself/herself with people who are positive and do not easily give up on their dreams and goals. These people will give them the inspiration and support they need in achieving their goals.
  8. They don’t just talk, they act. – Successful people talk about ideas and plan but, more importantly, they act, do, work, labor, perform. In other words, they do not wait for things to happen, they make things happen by acting on their needs, wants and dreams.



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