Success and happiness

By HSC Staff Writer • Published: March 14th, 2006
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

In American society, lots of “stuff”… social status, and other signs of success… are often thought to contribute to feelings of happiness. But according to a new study, the opposite is true: Being happy about one’s life in the first place actually breeds a sense of success.

Researchers from the University of California at Riverside reviewed over two-hundred studies that focused on happiness and success. The common thread? Happy people yearned to take on new challenges. This outgoing attitude can bring people greater pleasure in life as well as success… whether it be in work, health or relationships.

While previous research asserts that success and achieving major goals are the genesis of happiness, the California study indicates this isn’t always true. Indeed, people who were inherently happy were more creative. They also had a positive perception of self, colleagues, family and friends, and even boasted healthy immune systems. Experts concluded these traits in turn lead to success both socially and at work.

Happy individuals were more likely than less-content peers to perform exceptionally on the job and earn higher incomes. They also were more involved in their communities and enjoyed a healthy lifespan.

Why? People with positive attitudes are more apt to push toward new goals, while building new friendships and networks. Similarly, those who interact with happy people often find them likable and sociable. That could well be a self-fulfilling prophecy: An outgoing facade could enhance relationships and lead to further successes along the road of life.