Critical Factors For Success and Happiness

smiling dollarGreetings friends!

Have you ever heard the expression: “money can’t buy happiness?” I for one have and in the circles I grew up in this saying was usually followed with, “yeah, but money sure can buy you a lot of cool sh*t!” How sad is it if this is really true?

Check it out for yourself. In a recent American Psychological Association Newsletter research is presented that supports the “money can’t buy happiness” thing. Specifically, the Educator’s research found that although money (material success) eased some concerns of wealthy people, they still experience what I call “significant stress” about the effect of their wealth on their kids, their relationships, and on the isolating aspects of being a have versus a have not.

Funny thing, though; check out material from Donald Trump or Sir Richard Branson—or from any of the success thinking from speakers on the circuit—and they’ll talk to you about money, things, and stuff.  They’ll tell you about getting into the “have” category. As valuable as their insights are, none of them will also tell you about “having” with extreme happiness. None of them will tell you the problems with wealth like the research in the APA article shows. None of them will tell you that success cannot change your being—it does not impact who you are at your core—even though many of us believe that’s how it works.

For the longest time I was rotten at my core. I spent a lot of time striving to “win the lotto,” believing that earning gobs of money, or getting a certain position, or having a certain thing would make me happy. Hell, once I made a little bit of comfort money I found that I couldn’t buy a genuine smile—even when my tax accountant told me I could afford one! The fact is that I wasted thirty years chasing success and accomplishment. And you know what? I achieved everything I set my mind on…from health to wealth, and I was still a miserable bastard deep on the inside—simply because I was chasing things and stuff without fulfillment!

Since then I’ve learned that the sweet spot is achieving both at the same time. We need Success and Happiness—and sure, all of us want wild amounts of success, whatever that means to you. We’re all told that, modeled that, and measured against that in the world starting at a very early age. At the same time, though, our hearts also want us to be incredibly happy and deeply fulfilled.

CGSH graphic



So, as I see it there are 3 factors that are critical—essential, paramount, required—if we want to achieve success and happiness at the same time. Here’s the model that I adapted and routinely follow–which includes overcoming limitations, raising standards, and following the heart.



Simple—right? It really is when you get into it. Next time we’ll explore how this model works by showing an example of it in action with Mr. Have’s problematic, wealthy life. Then we’ll look at how it’s applied to Mr. Joe Schmoe’s problematic, scarcity life. The beautiful part is that this model works exactly the same for both Misters…I love it!

have and have notFrom there we’ll really break this down one Factor at time and spend at least 5 posts on how to Overcome Limitations. We’ll do this because I believe that this Factor is the lynchpin, the backbone, it is the most important one. Specifically, if you already have success but are unhappy, this is the area that’s holding you back. Get happy and you’re guaranteed to get more, and better types of, success. If you’re scarce and unhappy, you gotta start here because your ability to achieve success skyrockets once you tap into your passion–and your true passions will stay hidden from you as long as you let limitations rule your life. So to recap: you gotta start with Overcoming Limitations no matter how much of anything you do or do not possess; if you do not, and therefore choose to keep your limitations, you’re simply guaranteeing more unhappy times than you are probably meant to have.

Does this make sense? If not, don’t be quiet. Let me know!


Did you think of someone you know while reading this? Forward it to them!
Want more cool ideas like this personally delivered to you? Sign up for it!
Want to talk more about it? Email me at doug[at]

Leave a Reply