Do you ever feel like you're always striving towards something--like a doing well at a job, finishing a project, or even meeting a deadline--without fully reaping the potential benefits that come after attaining it because you're so burnt out? Chances are, you're not the only one.

Very often, people focus on maintaining goal-oriented happiness: They think that they'll achieve joy after completing something, rather than finding joy in the journey itself. Yet this mentality is not one usually successful in real life situations, according to Emma Seppala, science director for Stanford University's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.

In reality, what's much more effective--and more enjoyable in the process--is simply finding happiness first, and then focusing on completing your goal second. Read on for Seppala's seven science-backed ways in order to rediscover joy and grow still more successful as well.

1. Live (or work) in the moment

Don't get stressed thinking about things you have to do later on. Simply focus on what's at hand in the moment, and tackle whatever you need to do now. You'll be significantly less worried--but also more effective.

2. Find resilience

The scariest times are not when we're overwhelmed or stressed--they're when we can't come back from our moments of feeling like we're drowning. Teach your brain to be able to bounce back from strenuous situations, and reduce your overdrive.

3. Manage your energy

Don't get worked up over things that ultimately won't matter in the long run. Instead, keep your thoughts for only the most important things. Wasting your mental capacity on people or thoughts that don't matter has never been an effective way of spending one's time.

4. Do nothing

While we all have obligations we have to take care of, doing nothing allows us to tap into our creativity. You'll come up with more ideas in the long run.

5. Treat yourself well

The way we treat our own bodies reflects how we want others to see us. Regarding our own faults with compassion instead of anger leaves you more likely to recover from your mistakes.

6. Venture outside your comfort zone

Playing it safe is easier--but not the best way to grow. Your brain is supposed to build new skills, but there's no way to learn them unless we push ourselves outside of what you already know. Your comfort zone is nothing but a boundary to break.

7. Show compassion outwardly

Validating the opinions and feelings of others allows you to form valuable connections. Do not underestimate the power of empathy. Showing compassion is the way to building successful relationship--and connections--that can only help you in the future.