Happiness Leads to Success

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happiness leads to success

Many scientific studies show that happy people are successful in many areas in their lives, including marriage, friendship, income, work performance, and health. Research by Lyubomirsky and King [1] show that happiness is associated with, and precedes, success.

Happiness Leads to Success

Unfortunately, you can’t always will yourself to be happy. Researchers McGuirk, et al, [2] determined that “over promotion of happiness, and, in turn,the felt social pressure not to experience negative emotional states, has implications for maladaptive responses to negative emotional experiences”. In other words, putting pressure on yourself to be happy can backfire. However, you can do things to become happier.

Help Others and Be Happier

Spiritual teachings emphasize helping those who are less fortunate. Now science has shown that even when a partner is suffering with a chronic condition, providing active help to the partner predicts greater positive feelings for the giver.

Monin, et al, [3] performed and analyzed two studies. Their research tested the hypothesis that helping predicts greater well-being when a spouse perceives that his or her help has positive consequences for the partner.

Monin, et al, [3] provide evidence that active helping relates to greater spouse well-being when spouses believe they are improving their partner’s happiness and when they feel appreciated.

There you have it, proof that helping others increases our own feelings of happiness!

Do You Have a Happy Partner?

Simply having a happy partner may enhance health as much as striving to being happy oneself [4]. You can be that happy partner!

Formula for Success

Can we conclude that helping others brings us happiness, which then makes us successful?

happiness leads to success

I leave it to you to test the theory.


[1] Lyubomirsky, Sonja and King, Laura. “The Benefits ofFrequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?”, PsychologicalBulletin, 2005, Vol. 131, No. 6, 803–855.

[2] McGuirk , Lucy, Kingston, Rosemary, Kuppens, Peter, and Bastian, Brock. “Does a Culture of Happiness Increase Rumination Over Failure?” Emotion, 2018, Vol. 18, No. 5, 755–764.

[3] Monin, Joan K., Poulin, Michael J., Brown, Stephanie L.,and Kenneth M. Langa. “Spouses’ Daily Feelings of Appreciation andSelf-Reported Well-Being”, Health Psychology, 2017, Vol. 36, No. 12, 1135–1139.

[4] Chopik, William, and O’Brien, Ed. “Happy You, Healthy Me? Having a Happy Partner Is Independently Associated With Better Health in Oneself” Health Psychology, 2017, Vol. 36, No. 1, 21–30.