If You Want Success, Pursue Happiness

If You Want Success, Pursue Happiness

So many people think happiness will come AFTER success.

And in some ways, it will, because accomplishment and achievement can definitely contribute to positive emotions.

But it’s just as true to say that happiness will CREATE success.

This is what I’ve been calling, for many years now, the primacy of positivity. Put happiness and positivity first and foremost and the energy and inspiration and motivation it creates, will drive more success however you define it …

via the Atlantic by Arthur C Brooks

Without going too far out on a limb, I believe almost everyone would like two things from their jobs and careers: success and happiness. They want to do relatively well financially, receive fair recognition for their accomplishments, enjoy their work as much as one can, and become happier as a person as a result. These are reasonable goals, but they can be a lot to ask—so many people, especially ambitious, hard-working people, simplify them in a logical way: They first seek success and then assume that success will lead to happiness.

But this reasoning is flawed. Chasing success has costs that can end up lowering happiness, as many a desiccated, lonely workaholic can tell you.

This is not to say that you have to choose between success and happiness. You can obtain both. But you have to reverse the order of operations: Instead of trying first to get success and hoping it leads to happiness, start by working on your happiness, which will enhance your success.

Success and happiness are generally positively correlated, as many workforce studies have shown. For example, companies in Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list saw an average 14 percent stock-price increase every year from 1998 to 2005, compared with 6 percent for the overall market. And as Gallup data have shown, among business units with employee-engagement levels (that is, employees who reported feeling heard, respected, and intellectually stimulated, and who had a best friend at work) in the 99th percentile, 73 percent perform above the company average, and 78 percent perform above the industry average.

From this correlation, many assume causation—from success to happiness. During my years as an executive, I found that people strongly believe that pay increases—especially big ones—will have a large and long-lasting effect on their job satisfaction. The data tell us a different story, however: Large wage increases have only a small and transitory effect on well-being. Researchers in 2017 tracked the pay and job satisfaction (measured on a 0–10 scale) of nearly 35,000 German workers over several years. The study found that the anticipation of a 100 percent pay bump increases job satisfaction by about a quarter of one digit in the year before the raise. The raise increases that satisfaction bump by another fifth of a digit. By the fourth year, the increase has fallen to less than a fifth in total.

In other words, say your job satisfaction is a six out of 10—not bad, but could be better. If your boss doubles your pay, it will get you to about 6.5, and then it will fall back to about 6.2. Maybe this isn’t the best strategy to help you love your job.

And that doesn’t even take into account the cost that increased job success can have on overall life satisfaction. In 2016, psychologists measured career success by asking 990 college-educated full-time professionals to compare their career achievements to others’. They found that people generally enjoyed the money and status that relative success produced. However, success did not lead to total contentment: It indirectly chipped away at life satisfaction, likely via time constraints, stress, and impoverished social relationships.

Much stronger and more positive results emerge, however, when researchers reverse the order, looking not at success’s effects on happiness, but happiness’s effect on success. Scholars in 2005 surveyed hundreds of studies—including experiments to establish causality—and concluded that happiness leads to success in many realms of life, including marriage, friendship, health, income, and work performance…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE