Someone asked me this past week if I thought happiness was the key to success. That question really got me thinking…

Research shows that gratitude and happiness lead to greater success at work. (I wrote about that in this earlier blog post.) But happiness and gratitude are mindsets.

You choose to be grateful and happy. You don’t need to feel happy to be successful.

I view happiness as the cherry on the sundae of life. So awesome if you “feel happy,” but happiness is a bonus – it’s fleeting.

How you choose to see things and respond to what happens in your life, the ups and the downs, is a better indicator of how successful you will be.

I am a bigger proponent of joy and thankfulness. Happiness is typically much more of a feeling – we feel happy. Happiness is usually dependent on our circumstances, the happenings in our lives, but joy supersedes our circumstances.

Joy comes when we choose to be thankful, to be grateful, to see things in a positive light.

Joy comes from knowing we are part of something bigger than ourselves, from our relationship with God.

There is nothing like the deep satisfaction that results from when we are doing something we believe in, that we think matters, something that aligns with our values.

We all have different definitions of success based on what we value.

If you’re doing something that you think is meaningful, if you’re doing something you love or attribute value to, then you will be successful.

When we plug into the deeper purpose behind what we are doing, then we have a greater ability to keep going, to be resilient, to push through the yuck that comes some days, and that perseverance is crucial to success.

When you’re doing something you believe in, even if your day is full of hassles and hard things – not a particularly “happy” day – you can still be joyful and deeply satisfied that you are doing something that matters.

I had a day like that last week, really hard, but still joyful and rewarding. I feel so blessed that I get to do something that I believe makes a meaningful difference in others’ lives. I’m incredibly thankful to do what I do, and I long to help others find that career that brings their soul joy, whether they have a feel-happy day or not.

My challenge to you today is two-fold:

  1. Choose to be grateful today for where you are, for the experience you are gaining, the opportunity you have to make a difference wherever you are, and whether you currently love what you are doing or not. It is not just about what you do, but how you do it. I believe there is great value in doing whatever you do with excellence and integrity, for example
  2. Take some time this week to think about what you really value. What do you think matters? I encourage you to prioritize defining what really matters to you and knowing how you’ve been uniquely gifted, so you can get on track to a career you will love that’s a really great fit for you. Then, not only can you have joy, but also success, and very often the cherry on the sundae that is happiness.

I’m here to help!



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