3 Key Success Factors for Winning the Happiness Game
I’ll bet you’re thinking, “If I were rich I’d be a lot happier.”
According to recent studies, you’d be dead wrong. It’s kind of like anorexia; if you were thinner, you’d be more comfortable.
It’s tough to get out of that mindset when you’re constantly surrounded by mass media outlets that push those ideas. Not only that, but our society is fixated on celebrities and their status- if you’re not a wealthy “celeb” you’re probably a failure or dead.
At least, that’s the way they make you feel.
In this post, we’re going to turn these ideas around and give you 3 key success factors and their action steps which will give you a healthier outlook on life. These concepts are proven methods which can lead to stress-free success and happiness.
(Notice I said “can lead” because some of this is based on your personality and commitment.)
So if you are confused or depressed right now, grab yourself a cup of Joe, clear your mind, and continue reading; we may have some of the solutions you’re looking for.
Perceptions of Happiness – Are They Real?
In America, social success and happiness are usually based on the size of your bank account and your position within a company or community. Unfortunately, our perception of how people of wealth and success live is usually wrong.
A good example of this is an effect known as the “FaceBook Illusion”.
When you see people on FaceBook they’re usually showing you all of the great parts of their lives. You see them waterskiing, eating at posh restaurants with their friends, and showing off all of their accomplishments.
Pretty soon, you’re feeling left out because your life isn’t like that. You wish you their secret to success because your life isn’t on the fast-track, you don’t have awesome looking friends, and you’re driving a beat-up car.
However, that’s the illusion.
In reality, these people’s lives aren’t all that great. When they have failures, they sure as hell don’t put them up on FaceBook. And when they get up in the morning, they look trashed out just like the rest of us.
The Reality of Successful People
This illusion of wealth and success has been with us since the first ego was born. If you want to see clear examples of this, you need to look no further than our own American history:
- George Washington wanted to be the richest man in Virginia. He had no desire to lead a rag-tag volunteer army into a war against the world’s superpower of his day. He really didn’t want to be the leader of a new country, either.
- Cornelius Vanderbilt cut his teeth on an emerging steamboat industry and was the first giant of the railroad business. Even though he became a huge financial success, he was so absorbed into his business dealings that he died of exhaustion.
- Thomas Edison is considered to be America’s greatest inventor, but his home life was a wreck because he rarely spent any time around his wife and family.
- P. Morgan dominated the corporate finance realm and became one of the richest men in the world. He had an extremely bad temper, and people he dealt with usually felt like he bullied them to death. He also had a horrible skin condition and hated being photographed.
- Howard Hughes was a genius aviator, entrepreneur, investor, and filmmaker. Yet he suffered horribly from obsessive-compulsive disorder. The last decades of his life he became a recluse, and he let his physical well-being deteriorate. When he died, the only way the doctors could identify him was from his fingerprints.
So obviously, having vast sums of money is not a cure for an unhappy life.
(And let us not forget all of those so-called “happy” lottery winners whose lives had a massive turn for the worse when they won the big jackpot.)
3 Key Success Factors and Their Action Steps that Can Lead to Your Happiness
Here are 3 key success factors that you can use to immediately improve your life. They are simple to implement and will cost you nothing to try. All you need to do is follow the simple action steps and commit yourself to working them daily.
If you follow through and actually do them, you may experience the wealth, success, and happiness you’ve been searching for.
Factor 1 – Relationships
For over 75 years psychologists and social scientists at Harvard have studied the factors and measures of happiness across the world. These studies are named the Grant and Glueck studies, and their scope covers all ages, social levels, and cultures.
This research found that the main ingredient and measure of success and satisfaction comes from one major source – RELATIONSHIPS.
Not only do you need intimate relationships with friends and family, but successful and healthy relationships at work. Researchers have found that nurturing relationships at work as well as at home are keys to real happiness.
Business leaders who’ve have helped and enriched the lives of others are very happy with their past successes.
So you can be sure that when you get older, you won’t be kicking yourself about whether or not you made a few extra bucks on a stock pick or a financial deal. More than likely, you’ll be thinking about all of the time you could have spent with your friends and family and how you could have helped others.
Action Step 1: Develop a Helpful Mindset
It is not all about YOU.
You need to develop relationships with the mindset that you’re not there to benefit from others – but THEY ARE THERE TO BENEFIT FROM YOU. You don’t want to look at people like they there to be your personal resource for happiness and well-being.
You are there to enrich their lives and produce benefits for the lives of others. This is an important concept to grasp from a variety of levels: spiritual, physical, as well as mental, and they can have a direct result on your personal success.
The best thing about this step is that you can practice it immediately at home with your family. After all, if you can’t be an asset to the people you live with, how can you be an asset to people you work with?
Factor 2 – Financial Balance
We’ve already focused on the idea that money won’t buy happiness, but there is a side issue to consider in this concept:
You won’t be a happy camper if you’re stressed out because you’re up to your neck in bills.
It’s common knowledge that the number one killer of marriages is financial duress. Money problems can put an incredible amount of pressure on your relationships, physical well-being, and decision making processes.
Having a financial balance that’s in your favor will help you to keep a better outlook on life and reduce stress on both you and your family.
Action Step 2: Eliminate Your Bills
Eliminating your bills one by one is a sure way to get rid of your money problems.
It’s not easy and takes a commitment with a capital “C”. If you have bills and spending that are out of whack, then you’ll have to bite the bullet and deal with them.
First, get rid of all unnecessary spending. You don’t need video games and luxuries to survive in life. You do need to eat and have a roof over your head. So, the money you make should be prioritized to remove every bill you have.
Get rid of your smallest bill first, and then roll the money you’d spend on that bill into the next largest bill. Once you have those bills killed, take the money you spent on them and roll the money into the next larger bill.
Rinse and repeat.
You may not be able to get rid of every single bill you have. Even if you’re able to get rid of your mortgage, you’ll still have taxes every year on your property other expenses that pop up.
However, reducing debt makes those situations more bearable, and you won’t be stressed out wondering if you’re going to lose your house or car.
Factor 3 – Physical Well Being
Recent research indicates that being overweight or obese is not only deadly but can impair your thinking process.
Extensive studies have been made in this area, and the evidence is overwhelming that obese adults and children have lower intelligence quotients (IQ) than their leaner counterparts.
Recently on PBS, a documentary was aired on the effects of being overweight that were quite revealing.
Two mice were subjected to an experiment. One mouse was fed regularly and was put into a maze where it could easily find food.
The other mouse was denied food for a few days and placed in a maze where it had to find hidden food.
Both mice had wired into their brains to measure brain activity.
The hungry mouse that had to look for the food was using his brain much more than the mouse that was fat and happy. While one study with a couple of rats isn’t overwhelmingly conclusive, it does make you wonder how it influences your mind and thinking process.
Action Step 3: Reduce Your Weight and Increase Your Physical Activity
There are literally thousands of different types of diets and exercise plans. We’re going to give you a very simple one to get you started. Later, you can research a diet that’s right for you and use it instead, if you so desire.
First, try to eliminate as much junk food from your diet that you can.
Identifying junk food is easy; anything that has calories that aren’t rich in proteins or nutrients. Cookies, chips, candy, and processed foods have a lot of dead calories that won’t do your body much good.
Keep track of your calories. You can do this easily by purchasing a small calorie counting book, or use a free online program like Fit Day to keep track of your daily progress.
Second, start with an activity and make it a routine. (Notice we didn’t say “exercise routine”.)
If you are overweight, starting with an activity will be much easier for you to commit to; it also won’t put undue duress on your body.
Making a commitment to briskly walk a mile or two a day is an easy way to get started. You can then add some simple exercises like jogging and push-ups to your routine. When you see that you are committed to doing this every day, you can get all sorts of advice online or at the library to take your program to the next level.
If you think that these factors and their action steps aren’t important to a healthy and productive life, you may want to reconsider. There have been extensive studies on the physical effects of depression, anxiety, and the inability to deal with stress.
Many scientists and doctors have directly related some illnesses and mental problems to these factors you’ve been reading about in this post. As a matter of fact, many of them believe that unhealthy lifestyles are related to ulcers, chemical addiction, and even cancer.
There’s only one way to find out if these principles and action steps will help you. Start implementing them today and see if there isn’t a significant improvement in your outlook and life.
Using these 3 key success factors and their action steps will cost you nothing, but you’ll find that you have so much to gain by using them.
About the author of this blog:
Mark Elmo Ellis writes compelling content and writes high conversion copy for entrepreneurs. Check out his blog, and get a free copy of his 200+ page book, “Blog Profiting Secrets”, by signing up for free premium content on his site. His free content and tutorials are sure to take your business’s content to the next level.