Happiness means … not being successful?

I’m a pretty happy person. In fact, I’m quite happy about my level of happiness.Happiness

People
who say they are perfectly happy don’t do as well in the workplace, in
school and in the public arena as their peers who aren’t quite as
blissful, according to a new study.
[Link]

Did I say I’m happy? I’m actually quite unhappy.

"Most
people are happy already, or happy enough," said Ed Diener, a
psychology professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
"We don’t want people to think that they need to get rid of every
negative emotion from their life."
[Link]

Has anyone in the world succeeded in getting rid of every negative emotion? Aside from Oprah Winfrey and the Dalai Lama, that is.

If people have come close, if they’re literally swimming in happiness, does it really matter that they’re not getting promoted at work? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be the guy flipping burgers who always gives you a smile than the manager who’s too busy to spare one.

People
who rated themselves as an 8 or 9 scored highest in terms of income,
education level and political activity. The 10s did finish first in the
social categories, such as volunteer work and stable relationships.That’s
because healthy relationships and helping others are more rewarding
than money or education, says Michael Anthony, a "happy trainer" who
works with Olympic athletes outside of San Francisco and gives himself
a 9.9 on the satisfaction scale.
   

You can’t be too happy, he argues.

"I
have to laugh when people say, ‘Don’t be that happy because you’ll be
more successful.’ They really have a whole different idea of success
than I do."
[Link]

There are many ways to define success. But happiness — well, you know it when you experience it. If the world considers you successful and you make tons of money, but feel miserable inside, what’s the use of all that money, except to buy you a whole lotta Kleenex?

Photo by Mani Babbar

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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