You’ve all heard the age-old question: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
To this day, the results are mixed. In order to get a chicken, you have to have an egg. To have an egg you first have to have a chicken. The same paradox can apply to happiness and success.
So many people believe that happiness is determined by their success. Without success, you can’t feel happiness. Without being happy, you can never feel successful. People want high paying jobs, and they feel that happiness will be a direct result of having that job. However, there is one small difference between the second paradox and the first, and that is that you actually have a choice in the second. You can choose to link happiness directly with success, or you can achieve success due to your already established happiness. Even if you don’t have a lot of money, you can still choose to be happy.
A New Branch of Psychology Addresses the Issue
There is an interesting new branch of psychology called “positive psychology.” Essentially, this form of psychology teaches that we should look for positive things rather than negative things.
If you were to go have a chat with a normal psychologist, he would sit you down and ask you to tell him about all the problems in your life. A positive psychologist on the other hand would sit you down and ask you about the good things in your life at that moment. See the difference?
In this new realm of psychology, you would work on infusing those positive things into the less positive, and thereby live a more satisfying life. In the mind of a positive psychologist, there is no question that happiness comes before success.