Success is a moving target.  We continually have to work harder and smarter if we want to make it to the 'C' Suite. The next raise is right around the corner. If we can just get that promotion, then we'll be happy.

But we never are.  Even if we get the raise and the promotion. The brass ring is always just out of reach. The pursuit of happiness is an elusive dream. The reason for this fruitless tail-chase is because monetary wealth, corporate upward mobility, and the acquisition of things does not create happiness.

Happiness is the byproduct of emotional wealth.  You can't buy it.  You build it yourself, from within. Hour by hour. Day by day.  Do you want to be happy? Adopt these traits of emotionally wealthy people:

1. Decide to be happy.

It's a decision. You can accept your circumstances with grace and forbearance; continuing to move forward. Look around and see, truly see, how much you have been blessed.  Your life is not perfect and it never will be.  Be happy where you are today, and where you will be tomorrow.

2. Stop complaining. 

Yes, you complain.  Make a conscious decision to speak only positive things.  You'll be pleasantly surprised how everyone around you reacts.

Start complimenting people. Find something nice to say, even to strangers.

3. Pray.  Or meditate. 

Do this first thing every morning and several times throughout the day.  Move your consciousness away from yourself. 

4. Be kind.

There is rarely a good excuse for unkindness. If you treat people well, you will feel better about yourself and about others. 

5. Invest in other people.

Putting other people's needs above our own is an innate part of who we are as human beings.  We are always at our best, and feel our best when we serve others. 

6. Read books. 

Not self-help, how-to-succeed-in-business books.  Pick up a well-reviewed novel and get lost in it. 

These small activities, if practiced purposefully, will open the door to real happiness. And it won't cost you a thing.

Please share on social media if you found this post helpful. Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you'll never miss a post.