Happiness is a tricky topic.

We all approach it in different ways; we all achieve it through our own unique method. Generally, however, many people do practice methods of ends-based happiness, in which fulfillment is achieved via success.

However, hundreds of neuroscience and psychology studies have actually shown us our goal-contingent happiness is just simply incorrect. In her book The Happiness Track, Emma Seppala touches on seven super simple steps we need to stop getting wrong in order to convince ourselves that happiness does indeed lead to success.

First of all, when we place too much pressure on end results, we spend a far greater amount of time stressing ourselves out and worrying about what needs to be done. Instead, you should enjoy the present in order to remain more productive now so that you may not even have to worry about the latter.

Taking time to self-care and prevent from burning out yields greater productivity in both the long and short term, despite how counterintuitive it may seem.

In addition, we have to take advantage of the calm. In spite of the fact that high-intensity bursts of adrenaline give us great temporary strength, it's actually in the relaxed state that our best-quality, most thoughtful work is produced. By storing enough energy to actually get things done--as well as taking the time to be idle and daydream--we are able to work very efficiently and create space for new ideas.

Once again, taking time for yourself proves to be an absolutely necessary step in working well. When we feel like we need to take such breaks, we must remember to be kind to our bodies and minds. We should absolutely not berate ourselves for making mistakes when it actually makes much more sense to learn from them and grow instead.

As long as we understand that, with each mistake, our brains are continuing their growth. With each new skill or lesson we learn, we are attaining even more expertise.

Last, Seppl points out that we should maintain a collaborative attitude towards others. By focusing our attention to the well-being and success of our peers and colleagues, we will build relationships that inspire us.

Our meaningful relationships will, ultimately, provide us with fuel for journey-based, rather than ends-based, happiness. They will prove to us that happiness really does lead to success--definitely not the other way around.

Published on: Mar 10, 2016
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