Happiness: Success and a Well-Lived Life


What does it mean to be a success in life in the 21st century? I suppose the answer you get depends upon who you ask. One important thing that seems to stand out this morning is that it is really hard to feel successful at anything when you are not happy. Abraham Lincoln said, “Most people are about as happy as they choose to be.”

This is a thought provoking statement that indicates that happiness is a choice that people make as well as implying that success is a secondary result of happiness. Often, when people think about happiness, thoughts are conjured up of people who laugh and smile a lot, but that is not really accurate. Happiness is not based upon circumstances, in psychological terms, it is better understood as an approach to life that is present in spite of circumstances that provides hope, resilience, and strengths of values under-girding a perspective toward what is done in life. One thing for sure is that it is not what happens to us in life that determines success, rather, it is connected to how we feel about what happens and how the experience is internalized into life actions.

A well-lived life is connected to positive emotions that are internalized into beliefs, perception, and attitudes, which provide the substance of life affirming actions– behaviors in the experience of life. Positive emotions and efficacious actions are connected to the ability to have positive affirming relationships that characterize relationship in groups, social interaction, and organizational life. At the heart of life characterized by a pattern of broken relationships is a missing element of hope. The missing element is happiness that gives meaning to life— the wind in the sails of life bringing accomplishment within circumstances The point is that success in life is very much connected to happiness and its is definitely something that you have to choose in life.


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