There is a very real relationship between success and happiness. When we feel successful, we tend to feel happy. Conversely, research shows that when we're happy we become more confident and more successful. Knowing this, we should each reexamine our vision of success and redefine it to create more happiness in our lives.
When you think about personal success, what comes to mind? What vision of success are you currently chasing? A lot of us are chasing a societal vision of success - the big paycheck that affords the big house and the big trips and the big stories for our social media accounts. We are all fighting for a success that may or may not actually lead to our happiness because it isn't defined by our own, very personal values.
Success is a personal metric because success should be defined by what we think happiness is or should be. Personally. My idea of happiness is probably different than yours, so how I chose to prioritize my time to achieve happiness is probably different as well. When we take the time to figure out what happiness looks like and feels like to us personally is when we can really start redefining our success metrics.
Let's say my version of happiness is helping others experience joy. That means that at the end of each day, I should measure my success on whether or not I helped others experience joy.
A successful day for me might be one where I made my babies laugh or when I shared a smile or a friendly hello to someone in passing. If my version of happiness involves contributing to society in meaningful ways, a successful day might be one where I supported a small business or when I taught my children to have empathy for others. When success is defined by happiness, its easier to be both happy and feel successful.
The point is that happiness should define success so that you're quest for success ultimately makes you happy. Easy peasey, lemon squeezy.
What does a successful business look like? A lot of businesses associate success with transactions, but think back to the reason you started your business or the reason the company was founded. I'm guessing a lot of those mission statements don't mention anything about making money or the company's bottom line.
Instead, most mission statements are value-based because most companies went into business to address some unmet consumer need. Meeting that need was the why for the business. Meeting that need created happiness for customers. Meeting that need was the goal. That original mission should be what defines the success of that business yet somehow many businesses have lost sight of that all-important metric.
Yes, businesses need to make money and businesses need to grow their bottom line. But the how should be tied to the why instead of the what. If making money becomes the vision of success, the mission takes a back seat.
If the goal is to make money, consumers will see that. Even worse, they'll feel it. They will feel like a transaction and not like a valued customer. But if the goal is to continue serving that original unmet need, if the mission remains around serving the customer then consumer happiness becomes the success metric.
Businesses will grow their bottom line if they continue to live their mission and fulfill the unmet need that leads to customer happiness. Meeting that need increases happiness, leads to more sales, deeper engagement and increased loyalty.
Whether personal or in business, defining success is important. That definition sets the path, the tone and ultimately, the outcome of the journey needed to achieve it.