Happiness Leads to Success, Not the Other Way Around

We're working harder and longer hours than ever before with the belief that it's the necessary route to happiness. But hundreds of neuroscience and psychology studies suggest this is plain wrong! Here are seven mistakes we make to be successful and what we should do instead:

  1. We spend our time constantly worrying on what needs to get done next and stress out...but it's by staying present that we are happier, more productive, and charismatic.
  2. We overwork, stop taking care of others, and burn out...but it's by taking time to calm down that we are less stressed, more productive, and highly resilient. 
  3. We live on intensity - going from high stress to high excitement - and exhaust ourselves...but it's when we're calm that we have more energy to get more done.
  4. We focus nonstop on our work and yet have a hard time thinking outside the box...but it's by varying our activities, being idle, and goofing off that our brain develops breakthrough ideas.
  5. We're self-critical about our weaknesses and failures and we feel down...but it's by being kind to ourselves that we thrive in the face of challenge and grow from our mistakes.
  6. We think we're only good at certain things, and we don't step outside our comfort zone...but it's by understanding that our brain is built to learn that we attain new skill and expertise.
  7. We focus on ourselves and look out for #1 and we're self-centered and lonely...but it's by focusing on others and being kind that we build influence and loyalty and that we inspire.

When I looked at the research, I saw that – overwhelmingly – happiness is actually the secret to success. If you prioritize your happiness, you will actually be more productive, more creative, more resilient, more energized, more charismatic and influential. You will have more willpower and be more focused, with less effort.

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