Have you ever been told: “Work hard, choose a well-paid career, be successful and you’ll finally be happy”?
The misbelief according to which we must achieve success in order to experience happiness is emphasized in Western society to the extent that many people come to the conclusion that success equals happiness.
They chase success thinking that happiness results from getting into the most prestigious college, landing their dream job, buying a manor abroad, or becoming millionaires.
But, the bitter truth is that for the majority of people, both success and happiness remain an illusion.
Either because they never achieve SUCCESS or, if they do, because they realise that HAPPINESS doesn’t follow.
This should make us consider that maybe HAPPINESS is not a consequence of success, but one of the causes leading to SUCCESS.
Therefore, the correlation works the other way around.
Research suggests that happiness is correlated with and often precedes career success and that experimentally enhancing positive emotions leads to improved outcomes in the workplace.
An investigation showed that people who are made to feel happy set more ambitious goals, persist with challenging tasks for longer, view themselves and others more favorably, and believe they will succeed.
A study provides evidence that happiness increases productivity.
The above research suggests that positive emotions - above all happiness - foster the achievement of goals and should not be overlooked.
However, happiness shouldn’t be considered the only prerequisite for achieving our goals.
Consistency, diligence, focus, are other pivotal factors, among many others.
Therefore, we shouldn’t assume that sad people cannot succeed in life.
History suggests otherwise.
Depressed individuals such as Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill accomplished incredible feats.
More recently, another incredibly inspiring example of someone who has achieved great success despite being depressed is Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.
She revealed she had considered suicide as a struggling single mother in her mid-20s.
So, if you are not happy yet, or even if you feel depressed, don’t be discouraged; you are not doomed to failure, you can get great results.
Having said that, HAPPINESS definitely increases our chances to achieve our goals, so, being happy as much as possible is worth it. Isn’t it?
What if there was a simple but efficient action you can take every day to feel happy?
Would you be interested in it?
If so, now I am going to dive into what all of us can do daily to boost our own happiness regardless of what we do, where we live, what language we speak, and what “grade of success” we have already achieved in our work career.
It is literally within anyone’s reach, and it doesn’t need either too much time or effort.
Are you ready to know what this is all about?
Something very powerful, yet underestimated, that’s going to magnify your happiness is an act of KINDNESS.
It’s as simple as that, but perhaps precisely because it is so simple, we overlook its importance.
If you are open to doing it continuously, it is going to pay off.
You will feel way HAPPIER, besides making someone else feel the same.
It’s a WIN-WIN situation!
As I mentioned in my previous post - WHAT DOES SUCCESS MEAN TO YOU? - the world needs compassionate achievers, people who achieve success by helping others, by doing good to them and to themselves too.
Our communities and society flourish when people look out for one another.
Each of us in our own small way is responsible for making this world a better place, not just for us, but for our children and the future generations too.
LINK BETWEEN AN ACT OF KINDNESS AND HAPPINESS
An Oxford University meta-analysis has shown that doing good to people - such as holding the door open for someone, giving an unexpected compliment, or donating to charity - increases our own levels of happiness and well-being as well as theirs.
Study lead author Dr. Oliver Scott Curry, from the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford, says:
“Humans are social animals. We are happy to help family, friends, colleagues, community members, and even strangers under some conditions. This research suggests that people do indeed derive satisfaction from helping others. This is probably because we genuinely care about others' welfare, and because random acts of kindness are a good way of making new friends, and kick-starting supportive social relationships.”
Also, another study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies explored this very topic, i.e. the link between an act of KINDNESS and HAPPINESS:
"Participants recalled a previous purchase made for either themselves or someone else and then reported their happiness. Afterward, participants chose whether to spend a monetary windfall on themselves or someone else. Participants assigned to recall a purchase made for someone else reported feeling significantly happier immediately after this recollection; most importantly, the happier participants felt, the more likely they were to choose to spend a windfall on someone else in the near future."
These studies confirm how lending a helping hand is a huge happiness booster for the do-gooder and the beneficiary too.
In other words, the more kind you are to your fellow human beings the happier you can expect to be.
Furthermore, as stated at the beginning, being happy increases drastically the possibility to achieve our goals in life.
So, my question to you is: what are you going to do now that you are aware of it?
What act of kindness are you going to do?
Here are some tips for you to be more kind, and therefore happier, and to make someone’s day better too.
The following acts of kindness won’t cost any money, but trust me, they can be priceless for the receiver, they can create solid relationships and set yourself up to become a successful person.
10 TIPS TO BOOST YOUR HAPPINESS
- give someone moody a warm hug;
- smile and be friendly with the people you interact with;
- help an elderly person do the shopping;
- plan a surprise dinner for your partner;
- write a letter to a person where you open up and express all your admiration for him or her;
- reconnect with a friend you may have quarreled with or you have not been in touch with for a long time, telling him or her how you miss spending time with them;
- gift something you value - a book, a CD, etc - to someone you know loves it, and attach a note of kindness;
- take the time to listen to someone who needs to be listened to, someone who feels lonely, give them your full attention;
- caress your parents or the people you love and whisper in their ears how much you love them;
- take the time to listen to your own needs, ultimately take the time to be kind to yourself.
These are 10 simple ways within everyone’s reach to boost your happiness and make someone’s day better, so don’t make any excuses.
It’s your choice now.
Start with one tip, till you gradually apply all of them, and then, come up with some original acts of kindness and share them in the comments below, so that you can also inspire others with your own suggestions.
I am looking forward to witnessing how being more kind to your fellow human beings will affect your life as well as theirs.
Just think how different this world would be if everyone took a few minutes out of their day to do something for someone else.
Start today and make this world a better place.
As the song goes:
“We'll make a better day, just you and me”
Before you go, if you would like to know more about how you can become happier and happier, don't miss out on my post called A STUDY REVEALS THE SECRET TO BE HAPPY AND HEALTHY.