Five Habits of Happy AND Successful People
“The on and off switches of your
success and happiness lie in your
mind.” - Edmond Mbiaka
Most people want to be happy. But they
also want to be successful. And, while
each person might have an
individualized definition of just what
each of those things means to them
specifically, the overall desire to lead a
life that’s free of stress, worry, anxiety
and fear, while being replete with
happiness and success, is constant.
There is a pathway to happiness and a
highway to success. It’s just that many
people choose not to travel along those
roads. They are less traveled because
they are harder to navigate. The
beginning is always rocky and steep,
enough to make most people turn back. And parts of the road are downright
impassable. Although we might want to be happy and successful in life, that is often far
from the case. Is this something that’s actually attainable in life?
When we talk about happiness and success, we are talking about two different things.
What makes a person feel happy and what makes a person feel successful do not
always coincide with one another. But sometimes they do. The thing about happiness
and success is that, in order to achieve either of them, you first need a definition in
place on what they actually mean to you.
Happiness can be described as a deep sense of ease and comfort. It is joy, and joy that
is not fueled by external motivators. Right here and right now, happiness is attainable,
no matter what’s going on in your life. Success, even though often described in terms of
fame and fortune, is actually the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
Either way, you will need to define what they both mean to you. Want to be happy? No
problem. Consider what will make you happy, and write it down. Consider what will
make you feel successful, and right that down too. This is a prerequisite for achieving
either. Without writing it down, they will remain in the abstract. Goals that remain in the
abstract are always unattainable. So, put some definition behind them both. Once you
figure out what both of those mean to you, you are already a step ahead. Now you need
to add some fuel to that fire. You need to institute a few actions and create a few habits
that will help to get you there. Here are five extremely useful habits used by happy AND
1. Focus on your health and well-being. Health and wellbeing are an important part of
the happiness-and-success formula, and one of the biggest keys to achieving them
both. The physical body houses the brain. The mental health and the physical are
interwoven. In a busy life of family, work, commuting and socializing, it can be put on
the back burner. This is fine for short periods, but exercising 3–5 times a week is
We also need to be grounded mentally. We need to do things like meditation and yoga.
Take a yoga class or institute an exercise regimen so that you have something that
starts incorporating healthy habits into your life. It does get easier over time as long you
continue to repeat the right behaviors.
2. Manage your time effectively. Everyone has the same amount of time, 24 hours a day,
which equates to 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds. Not one person, no matter how rich
or poor, tall or short, the color of their skin, their religion, or their geographic location,
has more time than the other. It is the greatest equalizer in life. One habit that will
influence both your happiness and your overall success in life, is the ability to manage
Effective time managers have a handle on their obligations in life, and know just how
to juggle things in order to get ahead. They focus on their long-term goals and prioritize
the activities that will help move them forward instead of leaving them behind. To
create and get real work done, time blocking as a daily habit and technique is worth
developing. Block out time each day for the important projects and deep work that over
time will create true success. But turning off your email, messaging and social media
notifications is an essential tactic to be effective and productive.
3. Gratitude. Happiness and success are preceded by gratitude. It is a matter of focus.
What are we focused on in life? When we focus on what we do not have, we find
ourselves in a state of lack. We realize just how much we are missing out on or how
much we lack the resources to do the things that we really want. Everything about our
focus shifts to a state of lack. Alternatively, when we focus on abundance, and being
grateful for what we have, we live in an abundant state.
Take at least 15 minutes each day to write down what makes you happy. Writing out
your desires takes them from the abstract into reality. It sets off a chain of commands in
the neurons in the brain that lend itself to experiencing something in an entirely different
way than just thinking about it.
Even if you think you have nothing to be grateful for, find something. You can be grateful for the ability to read and write, have reason and logic. Or for your friends,
family members, pets, food on your plate, clothes on your back, roof over your head, running water and so on.
4. Be Present. There is nothing like getting caught up in the past or constantly worrying about the future that ruins the present moment. Unfortunately, many of us have
trouble simple being in the here-and-now. What does it mean to be present? Being present is being grounded in the moment. We stop to appreciate the miracles that
exist in every direction we look, the beauty of all the things around us, and the journey that we call life. It helps us transcend the fears of tomorrow and the regrets of
yesterday. It does not mean that we get to ignore our problems. Problems are a sign of life. If you are thinking that you when you are happy or achieve success that
your problems will disappear, think again. We will never be problem free. Ever. Being present acknowledges that we have problems, but it does not allow those
problems to interfere with our peace-of-mind.
5. Persistence. Stephen King was once asked” How do you write a 130,000 word novel?”
His response, “One word at time.” and the answer is invariably dismissed. But that is all it is. The habit of relentless, persistent effort and strapping yourself in and
doing the work will produce a body of work that will define you.
You may have showed up here hoping for that prescription or template for success. The truth? There isn’t one. Just a few hints and suggestions that I have
discovered on my journey. But for those willing to put in the work, those seemingly impassable roads eventually lead to easier streets. At first, navigating along
them might feel treacherous at best. But with the right amount of focus and grit, it happens, one step at a time, and one day at a time.