3 Bulletproof Reasons Why Happiness Is More Important Than Success

Reason #1: Success Won’t Do You Any Good If You Are Not Happy

Drug addiction. Alcoholism. Inappropriate, violent, and bizarre behavior. Negative spotlight from the media.

These are all situations and problems that many of the world’s most glorified and successful celebrities often find themselves in after making it to the top. It’s almost expected now for the stereotypical teen or preteen pop star to tumble into a downward spiral of addiction, bizarre behavior, and acting out.

Having your talents, services, skills, and beauty appreciated by the world is a powerful experience that can improve your happiness. But quite often, that’s not case. Super-success often drains the successful of their happiness, joy and enthusiasm for life.

Celebrities like Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, Whitney Houston, and Michael Jackson are all tragic examples of this powerful truth. Success Won’t Do You Any Good If You Are Not Happy.

If the end-goal of your hard work is to find happiness after you succeed, chances are you might get the opposite of what you’re looking for. You might climb your way to the top only to realize that you aren’t any happier than you were when you started. You might even spiral into a depression. Because chasing success in hopes of finding happiness at the top is a recipe for sadness.

It makes sense that super-success often breeds sadness or disaster. Because what’s worse than having everything you could ever dream of and realizing that none of it makes you happy?

Reason #2: Happiness Is The End-Goal Of All Human Behavior

The good news is there is a simple way to avoid becoming another tragic celebrity success-story-gone-wrong. Find your happiness first. Create a high quality of genuine happiness, joy, and enthusiasm for life before you succeed.

Doing so will make all the difference. Because Happiness Is More Important Than Success.

Out of everything that you can accomplish in life, finding fulfillment is the highest end that you will ever achieve. Happiness is the end-goal of all human behavior.

Positive Psychologist Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar explains this idea in his book Happier: “Happiness the highest on the hierarchy of goals, the end toward which all other ends lead … Wealth, fame, admiration, and all other goals are subordinate and secondary to happiness; whether our desires are material or social, they are means toward one end: happiness.”

So whether you realize it or not, the desire to be happy is the underlying goal that motivates every item on your list of goals and ambitions—whether it’s finding your dream romantic partner, becoming an entrepreneur, earning millions of dollars, starting a family, moving to Spain, becoming famous, or buying a car. Everything that you do is motivated by that underlying desire to be happy. So why not just put happiness first?

Reason #3: Finding Happiness First Can Boost Your Success

Society often conditions us to believe that success is the most important goal there is. Though success is a powerful, important, and positive experience that we should all strive for, it isn’t the most important accomplishment you can achieve in life. Happiness is.

You should make it a point to focus on happiness first in your life because fulfillment not only improves your health but can also boost your success.

The world often conditions us to think that true happiness takes place after we build our success. But that approach to achievement is backwards.

As TED speaker and Positive Psychologist Shawn Achor confirms with research in The Happiness Advantage, a happy state of mind is not a reward for succeeding. It’s an advantage—a competitive edge for getting ahead.

That’s right. Genuine happiness is your brain’s highest potential for motivation, top performance, work ethic, productivity, and achievement.

So the best way to be successful is to take Achor’s advice and find ways to be as happy as possible in the present moment. Put happiness first.

Make a point to create a high quality of genuine happiness, enthusiasm, and joy for life. Exercise more. Practice gratitude—a proven happiness-booster—on a daily basis. Set some time aside every morning or evening to write down three or more events or situations of your day that you feel grateful for. Pick a career that feeds your happiness as your chosen craft. Go places, enjoy experiences, and spend time with people that bring more fulfillment into your life. Put happiness first.

In doing so, you will avoid becoming another tragic celebrity-success-story-gone-wrong. You will accomplish the highest goal of all human behavior. And you’ll be more successful because of it.


Bo Muchoki is an up-and-coming self-help writer. He is a 2011 graduate from The University of Maryland and the author of a forthcoming book titled Know Yourself: A Guide To Fulfilling A Life Beyond Your Wildest Dreams.
To learn more about Bo Muchoki and read more of his motivational writing, please check out his blog at http://www.MuchokiMotivation.com



Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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