Stephen Woolston

Steve's Articles, Coach and NLP Trainer in Maidstone and London

I no longer believe in chasing success to become happy, peaceful or worthy

Success isn’t the prerequisite of happiness, peace and worthiness, no matter what the 1980s era gurus told you.

Success gurus used to teach us that the key to happiness was success. Money. Promotions. Cars. We had to chase success in order to be happy. Some even said we should create massive pain in our lives to motivate us. Only when successful, they told us, could we be happy.

There was just one catch: If you actually achieved your big, huge goal, it clearly wasn’t big enough, so you had to set a bigger goal and mortgage your happiness against future success again.

When do you get happy doing that?

It’s like throwing a stick, chasing the stick and if you find the stick, throwing it again. Chasing sticks can be fun, I get that. That’s why we do it. I have no problem with chasing sticks. Let’s just stop doing it because we think it’s the key to happiness.

Stop mortgaging your happiness on possible future success.

There’s nothing wrong with success. The problem is the idea that success is what creates happiness.

I know plenty of miserable millionaires. I know plenty of top athletes who aren’t happy. I know people with very little who are happy.

Let’s be clear:

Happiness and success are independent of each other.

Being happy doesn’t kill off ambition.

Happiness is a place to work from, not a place to get to.

Instead of chasing success in order to become happy, make time for your success projects because you are happy.

For as long as we keep putting happiness, love, wellness, peacefulness, worthiness or whatever it is we value “over there” and putting assault courses—our definitions of success—between us and it, we’re telling ourselves we can’t be happy, loved, well, worthy now.

The more blessed path is to not make our happiness or worthiness dependent on a goal. It’s to be those things first, now.

It’s more joyous to work our success projects from a base of happiness, wellness and worthiness, not as a way of getting to those things.

If you are still chasing success to become happy, well, worthy, peaceful, etc., I invite you to turn it around.

Besides, if you think a goal will make you happy, Impact Bias predicts you’re probably wrong. Impact bias is a psychological bias that predicts the good feelings we think we’ll get from achieving things we want will not be as strong and long-lasting as we think.

Wishing you health and happiness,

Steve.