In a training once, Zig Ziglar shared a story about a man seeking his help to be “successful” like the man’s boss. Zig had him list several categories down such as work, income, family, and friends. Next to each category he had the man give a score of a “PLUS” or a “MINUS” for how well his boss was doing in those areas. When he completed the grading the he realized that the only thing his boss had that he wanted was his wealth, and that the boss was quite poor in all of the other areas of life. That’s when he knew he didn’t actually want to be like his boss, and that being successful was so much more to him than just money.
We all want success and that for most of us, success means financial wealth/stability and feeling happy or contented at the end of each day. Unfortunately, most of have this tug-of-war inside of us where we seek higher income but then hold ourselves back because we fear it will drive us from our other goal to be happy. And it’s understandable, how can you achieve both when you don’t know how.
Of all the different principles, habits and techniques listed out there about what successful people do, some can be spot on, but most can leave you miserable because they focus purely on financial success. There are many things “successful” people do, but what can you do to be like those people on top, who are both happy and financially well off?
I want to share with you two things that the happy successful people in life do.
1. The first thing that truly successful people do are they choose to be happy.
That might sound ridiculous, maybe even dumb, but it’s actually a key to their success financially and emotionally. Here’s what I mean:
Most people look at their goals and they say, I will be happy WHEN I reach this goal. And when they fail to reach their goals(which are normally unrealistic and high), they get discouraged and give up. Because their present state is completely determined by a future circumstance, they will always fall victim to their circumstances.
Contrast that to people who choose to be happy now. It’s how they choose to be happy and find happiness in their journey that completely transports their thinking and habits from victim-like to heroic creator-like.
So, what does choosing happiness right now look like when these successful icons do it?
Choosing happiness right now means choosing to give time and mind to those things that also matter, like family, friends and health. They never forgot to live a life outside of their work. -Living like you can give all time and attention to your goal is a sure formula for burnout.
Choosing happiness right now means taking your goals seriously without taking yourself too seriously.
Choosing happiness right now means setting small goals along the way, and dreaming up new big ones to keep yourself inspired and motivated. Tunnel Vision leads to blindness- you will literally lose sight of why you’re doing what you’re doing, which always spells disaster.
Choosing happiness right now means choosing to smile and finding things to smile about.
Those who are happy are brighter, and that sort of presence attracts business, connections and opportunities.
2. They take time to celebrate their successes.
Successes come in large and small ways. For some reason, most of us think like we have to downplay the successes we’ve had and ignore the things we do right, as though we fear that doing so will scare off the end result we want to attain. When you choose to do this, you are literally shutting your brain off to emotional satisfaction (aka happiness) and incoming opportunities.
Celebrating successes also boosts your motivation and commitment to put forth your 110% effort into your work. The truly successful people, all along their journey, are willing to acknowledge and celebrate in some form, the successes they are achieving.
Here’s what you have to do. Celebrate when you know you’ve made a win, even if it’s small. Don’t ignore the win you know you made. As you grow in success and make a lot of wins frequently, you might not notice as many of the small wins which is fine. But, most important to celebrate the ones you see and especially when you feel yourself exhausted from all the work, when it feels mundane or new things aren’t seeming to come your way- that’s when you need to celebrate most.
Celebration isn’t going out and spending lots of money on clothes, food, party materials, etc. Celebration means getting excited; it means treating yourself or sharing with an associate or friend (someone who won’t get jealous or mock you) what you’ve done.
I know, this may all sound so hippy-dippy but it’s not. One self-made millionaire told me he would go out to his car and do a sort of dancing and cheering session where he would yell, whoop, and even do some bragging to himself for doing even small and simple things, especially when the small and simple things at work felt hard to conquer. This, he said, made all the difference for him to keep from spiraling into complete stagnation of thought and energy. He attributes much of his financial and emotional growth to his habit of celebrating his successes. To this day he still takes time to celebrate.
As you strive to become successful, remember that it’s possible to have both wealth and happiness, and that you should seek to make that your true meaning of success. Through practicing the habit of choosing happiness and celebrating, you will keep yourself emotionally and financially rich!