Happiness, fulfillment and success are things we all want in our personal and professional lives. Yet the way we go about trying to achieve that often doesn’t match what research and science shows work. We adopt habits, beliefs and approaches that we are told by society, friends and family are the path to happiness, fulfillment and success. And yet, research shows, that they are often wrong and counter productive to the happiness, fulfillment and success we seek.

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6 keys to happiness, fulfillment and success (backed by science)

6 keys to happiness, fulfillment and success (backed by science)Happiness, fulfillment and success are things we all want in our personal and professional lives.

Yet the way we go about trying to achieve that often doesn’t match with what science and research show to be effective strategies.

We adopt habits, beliefs and approaches that we are told by society, friends and family are the path to happiness, fulfillment and success.

And yet, research shows, that those things are often wrong and counter productive to the happiness, fulfillment and success we seek.

Not only that, but those things actually come at a very high cost to the quality of your life, relationships, your effectiveness, the results you most want, and how you want to feel.

So, what does research and science show as keys to happiness, fulfillment and success?

In her book “The Happiness Track – how to apply the science of happiness to accelerate your success,” Emma Seppala PH.D (a respected Psychologist and Director at Stanford University) blows away the myths with proven keys to happiness, fulfillment and success, based on research and science.

Here are some of the factors that Emma highlights in her book:

6 keys to happiness, fulfillment and success

1. “Live (or work) in the present.”

Living in the future, or endlessly focussing on everything you still have to do is detrimental to the task you are supposed to be focussed on in that moment. It reduces your effectiveness and increases feelings of stress, busyness and overwhelm. It also has a negative impact on your personal and professional relationships. However, when you foster a habit of being anchored in the present it not only improves the quality of what you are doing at that time, it also, improves feelings of happiness and fulfillment.

2. “Tap into your resilience.”

This doesn’t mean constantly pushing on regardless of how tired, exhausted and stressed you are. Resilience is built by taking good care of yourself, adopting a mindset of pacing yourself, feeling mentally and physically strong. Those things are priorities. It is important to do things to build resilience, and often those things are the opposite of what we are doing.

3. “Manage your energy.”

Your level of mental and physical energy has a huge impact on your level of happiness, fulfillment and success. Yet it is something rarely focussed on. Imagine how your life, work and relationships would improve if you had more mental and physical energy. Plus, your personal effectiveness would increase to, which would have a positive impact on the results you want to achieve. When you make managing your energy a priority you whole world transforms in mnay ways and on many different levels!

4. “Do nothing.”

In a world that wears “busy, fast and now” as a badge of honour, many people find doing nothing very hard. Yet research shows that doing nothing, chilling out and having fun have a big impact on our levels of happiness, fulfillment and success. Downtime allows your mind and body to re-fuel (no vehicle runs on empty!). Plus, it allows space for new ideas to form, creative thinking and problem solving. All essential to your success.

5. “Be good to yourself.”

Being a harsh self critic is very damaging. It can increase fear of failure, which in turn might stop you from taking action. Plus, you are more likely to give up when hit by obstacles or setbacks. On the other hand, when you are compassionate with yourself you are much more likely to make better decisions and respond to situations in ways that deliver better outcomes. Change your habit of self critisicsm to self compassion. Research shows that self compassion boosts not only your results, but also your wellbeing too.

6. “Show compassion to others.”

Being totally focussed on your own world won’t help you build, improve or maintain strong, healthy relationships. Yet, healthy relationships are essential to your success, happiness and fulfillment. So pay more attention to the world of other people. Interact with them with compassion. It will really improve both your personal and professional relationships.

In her book, Emma goes into a lot more detail on all of this and offers great insights into proven ways to boost your happiness, fulfillment and success. It is well worth a read.

Download your free Set Yourself Up To Succeed self assessment workbook.

  • Patricia Young

    It took me many years to be able to accept and embrace many of these keys, walking unafraid through the doors life places on the path. What I am most proud of is knowing my daughters do this without question. They are much braver than their mother ever was! Great post Ali !

  • Yes, all very common sense and all very true. I really love all this advice and wish more people got how useful it is.

  • Carol, I agree, when we implement strategies backed by science and research into our lives it is transformational.

  • Patricia, that is certainly something to be proud of and congratulations on embracing these things and navigating the often challenging path to implement them in your life, and giving such a powerful gift to your daughters

  • Cathy Chester

    I love this. All common sense but I need the reminder! Great one, Ali

  • Thanks Cathy. Glad you found these points useful reminders.

  • doreenmcgettigan

    Excellent advice! I recently started scheduling ‘do nothing’ time. I love it!

  • Doreen, that is great that you are scheduling do nothing time for yourself. So many benefits on so many different levels.

  • Great tips. I routinely build in ‘do nothing’ time…

  • That’s great. Such an important thing to prioritise.