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Success Doesn’t Lead to Happiness. Here’s Why:

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If I work as hard as I can and become successful, then I will be happy.” That is the prevalent belief in our society these days. The classic equation adults tell us growing up, success = happiness. If you become successful, then you will be happy. It’s as if none of us deserve to be happy unless we are successful.

This false belief has led people to work years and years to reach “success” only for the sad reality to set in, success doesn’t equal happiness. This carrot and stick approach to happiness results in fleeting, scarce happiness. It adds pressure, stress, and negativity to all the aspects of our life. And in fact, striving for success first actually impedes success.

When I was building my first company, I always said, “I’ll be happy when…” I was pushing off happiness for the attainment of success. I didn’t think I was allowed to be happy. “Why would I be happy if I am not where I want to be?”

“For untold generations, we have been led to believe that happiness orbited around success. That if we work hard enough, we will be successful, and only if we are successful will we become happy. The opposite is true.” – Shawn Achor

This line of thinking eventually led to me burning out, and my business almost collapsing. It was at my lowest point that I started to question this belief. I started to search for another way, because what I was doing wasn’t sustainable. I was letting myself and my team down.

What I found surprised me, and forced me to change my beliefs. I found that the correct equation is the opposite. Happiness isn’t this “nice” thing to have AFTER you are successful. Science has actually proven that happiness precedes success; it fuels success!

In his best selling book, “The Happiness Advantage”, Psychologist & Harvard Professor Shawn Achor, showed through research and science how society’s formula for success is broken. His team found that when someone is happy, or in a positive state of mind, their intelligence rises, their creativity improves, and their business results increase as well!

Achor’s team found that sales teams were 37% better when positive, Doctors were 19% more accurate at diagnoses, and humans in general were 31% more productive!

Once I flipped the equation, and my mindset, I started to focus on my happiness in the now. I started to journal on things I was grateful for, I started to “play” more, I started to meditate and take care of myself.

Not only did this shift make me a lot happier (and healthier), it was the start of my business turning around. Using this mindset, I could face the difficult times with positivity and fortitude. I learned to be happy in the face of difficulty. And the result was me scaling my company to $6 million in 2 years.

“Happiness leads to success in nearly every domain, including work, health, friendship, sociability, creativity and energy.” – Shawn Achor

Mahatma Gandhi worked almost his entire life to free his people from oppression, first in South Africa then India. This was not easy and took decades to accomplish. He dedicated his entire life to the cause and was even incarcerated because of it. Even through this hardship, Gandhi was happy and fulfilled the entire time. In his autobiography, he even mentioned that if he did not accomplish this major goal, he would still be happy.

One could imagine how easy it would have been for him to be miserable and resentful during his journey. Instead, he was peaceful and happy. He maintained this positivity and eventually succeeded in his goal. He changed the course of the world and he used the correct equation to do it.

You can strive for success. You can work hard for success. Just don’t think that success will lead to happiness. There are a lot of depressed millionaires. Focus on being happy in the now. Be proud of where you are and who you are.

You can be happy now and still strive for more. Remember, this will actually make you more successful, it will make you perform better in all aspects of life and you will enjoy the ride so much more. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. Go be happy.

Christian Chasmer empowers entrepreneurs to live their best life so that they can impact the world. At 26 years old, this young entrepreneur has already built two successful companies. Starting in college, he built a franchise from $0 to $1.2 million in annual revenue. He then co-founded the real estate development company, CC Solutions, and grew it to $6 million in revenue in under 2 years. He’s also the author of the #1 best selling book Lose the Limits: Break your limiting beliefs, become a more productive you, achieve everything you want in life. The secret to his success lies in the systems he uses for both his personal life and his businesses.

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The Surprising Secret About Growth and Change

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Innovation and change drive business growth, but there’s one piece about growth and change that business owners and entrepreneurs often overlook. It’s not the most fun or glamorous piece, but if you recognize and accept it, the payoff is huge. This is particularly crucial for self-employed business owners when there’s little to no separation between yourself and your business. When your level of success equates to how much you have personally developed. I call it Growth Jet Lag, and when you know how to navigate it, you set yourself up for lasting success. (more…)

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Practicing Self-Devotion: 3 Ways Towards a More Mindful and Compassionate You

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I can still hear the voices of my older relatives and my elementary school teachers telling me “be disciplined”, “keep at it”, to give time and energy towards what we want. As a young, impressionable child, I believed all those things because well, they made sense. They worked. And honestly, I felt like it’s the only way to flourish. (more…)

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Identifying Your Emotions is the Key to Exponential Happiness

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In the weeks and months following the heinous terror attacks of September 11, millions of Americans decreased their domestic air travel. As domestic flying decreased, car travel increased where a study found that people opted to drive longer distances rather than fly. Not taking into account 9/11, there were 331 airplane crash fatalities in the U.S from 1751 crash events. What’s interesting is there were 42,000 driving-related deaths in that same year. The number of deaths in air travel and road travel remained relatively consistent in subsequent years. (more…)

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4 Life Changing Lessons I Learned by Starting a Podcast

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I had, and still have, a message I want to share with those that will listen. Heck, I am even willing to share it to those that are less than willing to listen. Therefore, I decided to start a podcast. A podcast focused on those that feel like the odds are stacked against them when it comes to venturing into those entrepreneurial waters. Those that have an inner belief that they can do it, but perhaps the people around them are less than enthusiastic about this new journey. 

Nonetheless, these Dark Horses, as I call them, buck the odds and run their own race to reach their own dreams and achieve their own goals. Little did I know that as I launched The Dark Horse Entrepreneur podcast, on a mission to teach others the lessons I have learned in business and in life, that I would be in turn learning even more lessons because of stepping out into the podcast arena. (more…)

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