Happiness v's Success - Which is Winning?

February 24, 2021

Whilst watching the breakfast news with a cup of warming tea, I was confronted with an issue that both shocked and surprised me when I heard it. The public interest article (I can’t really in all good faith call it news) was an interview with ex-spin doctor.  He was essentially on the breakfast sofa to launch his new book. The book is about successful people and the strategies they used to get to the pinnacle of their profession or sport.

At the outset I found this a really interesting concept. Since the basis of NLP is modelling, I thought it would be really useful to read about how champions and leaders of commerce created their success and to perhaps model their strategies for doing that. I was totally on-board until he made a very surprising throw away comment. He said that none of the people performing at the pinnacle of their game were actually happy.

This comment hit me like a blow to the stomach. How could that be? Is there an unstated suggestion here that it is not possible to be uber-successful and happy in oneself at the same time? Wow, I really hope not!

On reflection, it became clear that the unhappiness of these people isn’t not being happy, it is being motivated by fear. Most of the people modelled find their motivation from their inherent fear of failure rather than an excited anticipation of moving towards success. No wonder they felt ‘unhappy’. Being motivated by fear is an extremely energy sapping strategy and one that impacts significantly on every area of your life. Is this a strategy worth modelling, in my view, no certainly not.

It’s much more useful to move towards something you desire rather than to move away from something you fear. A moving towards strategy allows you to use highly positive emotional content to drive you towards something that you want to achieve. That might well be happiness, excitement, energy, confidence, determination, feeling powerful and empowered, whatever is positive and motivating for you. Feel how much positive energy these emotions have when you compare them to fear, uncertainty, embarrassment, failure. There’s a clear difference in how these two different sets of emotions drive you towards getting what you want or away from getting what you don’t want.

We believe it is completely possible to be successful and happy at the same time, if you adopt a simple 5 step formula:

1. Know what it is you want to achieve. Be specific about it and write it down, making it as detailed as you can.

2. Be ready and willing to take action. Do something every day that brings you one step closer to being successful in achieving what you want.

3. Notice everything that happens around you, embrace those things that you call happy coincidences (it may not be so much of a coincidence as you think!). Notice when you get closer towards what you want to achieve.

4. Be flexible in the way that you approach your activities. If something you do doesn’t turn out in the way you thought, then change it and do something different. Remember, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got. Learn positive lessons from everything you do and preserve those learnings for the future.

5. Operate from a physiology and psychology of excellence. Keep yourself healthy in both body and mind. Change any limiting beliefs about yourself into new empowering beliefs. Get rid of unwanted behaviours and negative baggage from the past. Resolve your internal conflicts and know how to call upon positive states on demand. A healthy mind creates a healthy body through the powerful mind-body connection, use it well.

Happiness and success can be very productive bed fellows and will create success which has longevity and wellbeing built in.

At our Enhanced NLP Coach Practitioner Certification Training, we assist you to achieve all of these things, taking you mindfully and carefully through each step so that you can have happy success for yourself and for those that you choose to work with in the future.  This is definitely the most important and empowering training you will ever take, imagine that for a moment won’t you? If you are serious about achieving your goals and creating success for yourself and those who you hold dear, then notice that now and take action, it’s the first step to the rest of your life and we would love to take that journey alongside you.

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