What is success in life if it doesn’t come with happiness?
True success brings long-lasting joy, not fleeting happiness. Save these happy keys to success in life.
Success turns tasteless when the pleasure it brings starts to fade within hours. Even when you fully deserve your success, the joy keeps fading.
Fulfilling success lets you accept all your little setbacks and small victories along the way. That wholeness of your journey, when you look back, gives your life meaning.
14 Keys To Success In Life (With Happiness That Lasts)
You don’t have to sacrifice your happiness until you reach success. You may do happy things instead of waiting for happiness to fall into your lap.
Here are the happy keys to success in life:
1. Let Yourself Be Happy At Your Successes.
Some of us fear being happy. That’s called cherophobia.
It stops people from going on trips because they’ll have to return to their dull daily life.
- Life isn’t about avoiding highs out of fear of the lows. Life is about embracing joy and letting fulfillment wash over you.
- Don’t wait to be happy until you get your success because one, you might be too old to relish things of enjoyment, and two, things you enjoy no more exist.
- Even at times when success may come at the wrong time in your life, while you’re struggling with a thousand issues, you are allowed to bask in it, if some.
Do you know what’s arrival fallacy?
When success comes, the best thing is to let it sink in. Elon Musk arrived at Twitter’s SF office carrying a kitchen sink, saying,
“Let that sink in.”
2. Luck Matters A Lot.
The three things you need to be successful: 1. Luck, 2. Opportunity, & 3. Preparation.
Seneca, the famous Roman Stoic philosopher, famously remarked that luck happens when preparation meets opportunity.
If an opportunity arrives but you are not prepared, will luck pass you by? Yes, sure.
- Being in the right place at the right time is an opportunity, but it is also backed up by years of hits and misses.
- A person seen as lucky isn’t appreciated for the years of preparation they put in while waiting for their lucky moment.
3. Connections Are The Roots of Success.
Success in life is built on strong connections.
Some claim that following their steps guarantees success, but this isn’t always true.
Each person’s journey is unique, and what sets them apart are the connections they make along the way.
Those with a strong network of influential and helpful people, the people who matter, have better chances of success.
Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success shows how successful people like Bill Gates and The Beatles often leveraged their connections to get rare opportunities.
Then those “freak” chances and “lucky” breaks from people stack up to make them experts and achieve extraordinary success.
“It was never an overnight success. It started in pubs; we went on to talent contests and then to working men’s clubs. We played Hamburg clubs, and then we started to play town halls and nightclubs, and then ballrooms.”— Paul McCartney, 1963
The truth about success is that if you don’t have anyone to celebrate it with, your accomplishments seem insipid.
Our greatest joys come from sharing our success stories with our cherished relationships.
Find out what friends can do together to maximize their happiness. Keep those bonds alive as you move through life’s challenges.
4. Target Excellence As You Work Hard.
Work harder than anyone else in your field.
When you do so, you can see what causes things to fail. The more you fail, the more you learn to fix them.
- First, don’t rely on intentions, but learn how to set your goals.
- Second, don’t be afraid to challenge the competition, however big it is.
- Third, aim for excellence, beginning with self-belief, self-love, and self-discipline.
Excellence is stretching yourself beyond what you can comfortably do. The key lies in reaching out a little more every day, unconcerned about the result.
Excellence is a dynamic attitude to life, about trying to get 1% better every day in any aspect of life.
[Of course, take days off and go on holidays because burnout is a real thing that can make you unproductive for a long time.]
5. Keep Your Mind In A Mindfulness State.
The future depends on what we do in the present. — Mahatma Gandhi
Success happens in the present moment.
- One key to success in life is to stay maximally focused on the present moment.
- A present awareness doesn’t make you want to regret, change, or overthink the past.
- A mindful state accelerates success by increasing process awareness, which keeps you from worrying about the future.
Mindful ways to be successful in life:
- Lose yourself in the flow of the process.
- Take breaks from time to time to sharpen your skills.
- Seek quick feedback on your performance.
- Polish your skills. Go at it again. Reiterate.
Here’s a 7-Step Beginner’s Guide To Mindfulness.
6. Challenge The Limits, But Stay Realistic.
Move beyond the set limits. Push all the established boundaries.
Do not try to find out what the limits are in your domain. Set your success perimeter, learn the ground rules, then break them whenever you find them caging you in.
But keep your dreams and aspirations realistic; don’t be grandiose.
Success in life does not always come easy. It can take years of perseverance and pushing the limits to achieve what you want in life.
- Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder, said of this, “Overnight success stories take a long time.”
- Ray Croc, who bought McDonald’s in 1961, says, “I was an overnight success all right, but 30 years is a long, long night.”
- Benedict Cumberbatch, who rose to fame playing Sherlock Holmes, says, “I’m not an overnight success. I’ve been doing it for 12 years. It’s been lovely and varied so far.”
Keep reminding yourself that good times and bad times both do not last forever.
The past is not a compass for the future. Give yourself permission to chart a new course. — Stephanie Leigh Mulac
7. Resist And Persist On Your Success Path.
This idea of how to be successful in life comes from Stoicism.
- Be persistent. Keep at it until your stipulated time for a break arrives. Take a breather. Then come at it again.
- Be resilient in your approach. If things fail, pause, think, re-evaluate, and then go at it again. Take setbacks in your stride and never dither from walking up to the challenge.
More than a century back, Sigmund Freud proposed something strange that captured the imagination of people from the humanities, the popular press, and modern science.
Freud claimed that people are “wrecked by success.”
In a recent study, psychologists found that there was no link between a person’s success and unhappiness in practically every manner they could think of measuring it.
Freud was wrong. Success won’t wreck you.
Both studies found that exceptionally successful careers were not associated with medical frailty, psychological maladjustment, and compromised interpersonal and family relationships; if anything, overall, people with exceptionally successful careers were medically and psychologically better off.– Kell, McCabe, Lubinski, et al. (2022)
7. Love Your Work. Work For Love.
Love is an emotion, but it is also a form of social behavior. It can help you become more successful and happier in life.
When love is affection, it can mean a deep attachment to someone or something.
When you love someone, you can strive to achieve things for them that you could never do for yourself.
Love takes you where nothing else can. (By the way, you can find your verve and happiness after any breakup.)
Success, when achieved for love, multiplies your happiness many times over.
Love can also give you a sense of belonging, which is not only a feeling but also an action. Success becomes more meaningful and complete when it is supported by love.
Because love, you know, will exist even if you fail.
On its part, love can give you the strength to get back up and go at it again.
Love to bits the work you do.
Think of what makes your work more fulfilling; do more than that. Love helps you stay on course longer when most have stopped or fallen by the wayside.
8. Collect ideas
Ideas and thoughts come and go too quickly. You can’t possibly remember them all.
So, try to grab them before they vanish. Write them down or take voice notes as they appear. You may later modify or discard them.
Sometimes, our ideas and beliefs are wrong. Check out the 10 happiness myths that are making you miserable.
9. Grow a writing routine
The best benefit of a writing habit is that it cultivates the discipline of thought.
Writing regularly will gradually allow your thoughts to get ordered. It will help grow the clarity of your communication.
10. Create an action habit
Constant rumination (overthinking) will not get you far from where you are now. You must take action.
Stop procrastinating, wasting time, and avoiding getting to work. Set your goals and act on your priorities one after another.
11. Read Regularly
Reading is perhaps the best use of your time. It lets you learn from other people’s experiences without having to go through them yourself.
Read for 30 minutes a day. Carry a book. Of course, you can open your Kindle or Audible app at any time and start reading.
12. Examine your day
Spend ten minutes reflecting on your day before bedtime.
Contemplate the things you did well and the mistakes you made. This simple habit will help you change a few things every day in your daily routine.
13. Step outside of your comfort zone
Your comfort zones contain nothing novel to ignite fresh insights. You can’t go ahead until you get out of the box.
Most of your growth prospects lie outside the comfort box. So, find the zone that unsettles you a little and step into your discomfort zone.
One way to do so is to deliberately open yourself up for small failures.
Success hinges on your ability to accept failure. That quality of yours persuades people to support you.
14. Become more mindful
Pay attention to the world around you as it unfolds. There are many instances, thoughts, words, knowledge, mistakes, and experiences in the world. Absorb the details mindfully and use them to your advantage.
What are the 5 keys to success in life?
1. Clear goals: Define what success means to you and set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals.
2. Self-discipline: Cultivate the habit of prioritizing tasks, staying committed, and maintaining focus on your objectives.
3. Continuous learning: Embrace lifelong learning, stay open to new ideas, and actively seek opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills.
4. Effective networking: Build and maintain strong relationships with influential people, mentors, and peers who can support your growth and success.
5. Resilience: Develop the ability to adapt to setbacks, persevere through challenges, and maintain a positive attitude in the face of adversity.
What are the 5 steps to success in life?
1. Set SMART goals: Define your vision of success and create SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals to guide your journey.
2. Develop a plan: Create a detailed action plan outlining the steps and milestones necessary to achieve your goals, breaking them down into manageable tasks.
3. Cultivate discipline and consistency: Develop daily habits and routines that support your goals, prioritize tasks, and help you stay committed to your plan.
4. Embrace learning and growth: Seek out chances to expand your knowledge and skills, be willing to unlearn and replace old ideas with new ones, and strive to constantly improve yourself.
5. Monitor progress and adapt: Regularly assess your progress, celebrate achievements, learn from setbacks, and adjust your plan as needed to maintain momentum toward success.
In brief, to succeed in life without losing your happiness:
- Keep growing as a person
- Work hard toward your goals
- Be persistent in the face of obstacles
- Know when to unlearn and pivot in another direction
- Surround yourself with supportive and positive people.
Be happy on your road to success, and never let success make you arrogant.
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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy — a medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher, who writes on mental well-being, happiness, positive psychology, and philosophy (especially Stoicism).
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