Do you believe it’s possible to be successful & happy? You're in good company if you do.
It’s not too much to ask, is it? To be successful and happy? After all, it seems only logical that if you can only achieve success, you’ll be happy. But you don’t have to be knee-deep in adulthood to know that’s not necessarily how life works. So let’s look to the sages, past and present, for some success and happiness quotes that illuminate the path to having life both ways.
Here are 7 pieces of success and happiness wisdom to convince you that both are possible.
- “Success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” (Albert Schweitzer)
I’ve listed Schweitzer’s wisdom at the top of the success and happiness quotes because all the others flow from it.
How many times have you heard stories of people leaving six-figure Wall Street jobs for a more Thoreauan, stress-free life? It’s as if some benevolent force swoops in and saves them just before they sign their souls over to the Devil. They’re exhausted, numb, and so poor that all they have is money. Everything they thought they wanted...and it didn’t make them happy.
And how many times have you heard stories of people who have “lost everything” but managed to walk away teeming with gratitude? Or the person who “just knows” what s/he is supposed to do in life, even if it means a sustenance of Ramen Noodles?
It’s the happiness – the genuine, permeating, contagious happiness -- that is foundational to success, not the other way around.
- "Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions." (Dalai Lama)
Leave it to the Dalai Lama to make us look at our own choices as conduits to happiness. He understands that happiness is not a destination, but a way of life. And we choose it every day – not by wishing, but by choosing actions that cultivate happiness.
As great spiritual leaders have emphasized through the ages, we must stand guard at the “source.” Our thoughts become words, our words actions, our actions habits, our habits character...and our character our destiny.
When we know and live our values, we become authentic. Happiness, in this light, really is an inside job.
- “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” (Winston Churchill)
Churchill, another great icon of success and happiness quotes, knew a thing or two about success, despite the odds.
The drudgery of the message is that the road to success is paved with failure.
The allure of the message is that enthusiasm, passion, happiness can connect all the dots.
When your heart is convicted toward its purpose, failure becomes just a weeding-out process. You learn what not to do. Yea! You learn whom not to trust. Yea! You learn what to hold onto and what to release. Yea!
And you most definitely learn what you’re made of as you grow in your determination. Yea!
- "If you can do what you do best and be happy, you are further along in life than most people." (Leonardo DiCaprio)
If anyone should know about the connection between success and happiness, it’s this bright Hollywood star. DiCaprio is doing what he loves, and he does it well.
But, before you assume his fame and fortune were handed to him on a silver platter, check out his inspiring rags-to-riches story.
This Oscar-winning leading man led with his heart and the source of his happiness. He also inherently understood that most people never know what it’s like to be happy at what they do best. Too many believe that success is the byproduct of hating what you do, but doing it anyway in order to succeed.
- “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.” (Oprah Winfrey)
Lest we get blinded by her wealth and industry dominance, let’s recall Oprah’s rags-to-riches story. She took risks that most of us wouldn’t dream of taking –
She fought hard for her success. But her fight was born out of passion for something that fueled her happiness.
Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.
Find your passion. Lean into it. Laugh when the hours while away without your realizing.
Life has a way of responding to dedicated passion with the opening of unforeseen doors.
- “Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.” (Oprah Winfrey)
Of all the success and happiness quotes we’ve heard spill from Oprah’s lips over the years, the topic of gratitude tops the list. In one way or another, she always manages to come back to it.
How otherwise could you do a job for which you might not be paid? How otherwise could you be happy when any number of life’s tragedies befall you?
Gratitude keeps you grounded in the present. It is a posture of awareness of all that has been lavished upon you, even when you think you have nothing.
Gratitude allows you to walk in nature and feel transcended in the moment. It allows you to taste your food with a mindfulness of all that was done and sacrificed to provide it. It allows you to recognize love, kindness, beauty, and possibility.
It also allows you to recognize in others a need that you can fulfill.
But, if you see only what you don’t have, you will forever compare yourself to those who have more. They will have more money, more stuff, more success, more anything-you-can-think-of. And you will want it.
And, while you’re drooling over Oprah’s millions of dollars, you’ll forget that she was once just grateful to be alive.
- "It's never too late — never too late to start over, never too late to be happy." (Jane Fonda)
And in the end, it all comes full circle, doesn’t it? Happiness really is the Holy Grail – the success for which we are too often willing to slay dragons (and our fellow man). It’s the object of every quest, the calling from deep within the well. And yet, most of us spend the most vital years of our lives not paying attention to it, and therefore not recognizing it.
What all happy people know about being genuinely happy is this: It’s never too late to align your concept of success with the happiness that has been there all along.
You simply have to open your heart…
I’m Dr. Karen Finn and I’m a life coach. Schedule a 30-minute private consultation for support in putting together the pieces so you can experience both success and happiness.