Happiness and success; these are two concepts which are often correlated. But how they are associated with each other is a question that many of us fail to answer correctly. It is a common misconception that success leads to happiness. This is why a number of organizations believe in rewarding their employees with monetary benefits for their hard work, with a hope that their financial success will eventually make them happy. If you are one of them and believe that success leads to happiness, we have something to tell you that will change your entire perspective of success and happiness.
What if we told you that success doesn’t lead to happiness, rather, it is the other way around. It is actually the happiness that puts you on the right track to achieve success. If you are familiar with the author Chade-Meng Tan and his work, he also endorsed this concept in one of his Google Talks. The author of “Joy on Demand” clearly stated that it was when he switched from his pursuit of success to pursuit of happiness, did the former come to him automatically. What’s even more interesting to know is that Mr. Tan’s case is not exceptional. It has now been proven by research performed by Ed Diener, Sonja Lyubomirsky, and Laura King that people who are happier are almost always more successful in three domain namely work, health, and relationships. When research includes more than 200 academic papers and a quarter million participants, it is fairly justified to take the results for granted, right?
Now that you are probably convinced of the importance of happiness in the primary domains of your life, it is time to question what is it that you can do to promote happiness and restore your mood. Meditation or mindfulness is a word that we have all heard of. But how many of us truly have a hands-on experience of it and what it has to offer? It is a technique that has its roots in the Buddhists practices originated some two thousand years ago. Ever since, it has been used by mankind in a non-religious context. Meditation is a practice that is suitable for hospitals, board rooms, schools, corporations, sports teams, and literally any context that requires the best of productivity and creativity.
The whole concept of meditation revolves around focusing on the present and preventing your thoughts to wander in the past or in the future. It brings your attention to the here and now which acts as an antidote for the brain since “Easily Distractible” is the middle name of the human mind. Upon consistent practicing, meditation is known to be highly effective for those who are in a quest for calm and peace. It helps you address the challenge of everyday stress and anxiety, restores your mood, improves your mental capacities, and ultimately makes you happier and more content.
Without further ado, let’s walk you through the ways that meditation and mindfulness can make you happier and consequently, more successful.
It Brings You Back To The Present
As mentioned earlier, meditation is all about bringing your entire attention and focus to the here and now. What you are doing at this very moment, what is happening to you, what environment are you in, how do you feel, etc. If you think about it, a major cause behind our unhappiness is the wandering thoughts of the past or the future. More often than not, we fail to prevent ourselves from dwelling in the past that disables us from living the present moment, seizing the day, and getting the most out of it. Similarly, it is in human nature to panic over the future. How many times have you find yourselves caught in the worry of the time that is yet to come. It hasn’t even happened to you yet. But the imminence of it is sufficient to make you panic.
This is why meditation works to make you feel happier. It collects your wandering thoughts from the past and the future, and brings them all to the present moment, to an event that is occurring right now and is positive or harmless in nature. It may be something as simple as looking out the window and keeping the focus to the chirping of the birds, the falling rain, or the children playing. Just by bringing your attention to the present moment, it momentarily removes the troublesome thoughts from your mind, making it calm and peaceful.
It Satisfies Your Thirst For Social Interactions
We are all social animals. Our DNA is hardwired to crave social interactions. As a matter of fact, the very development of the human brain is significantly dependent on the interactions. This is why you keep on talking to a baby even when he has not learned to respond or understand. You keep playing with him, making different gestures and sounds just to keep him engaged and provide the nutrition for the human brain to develop. The importance of social interactions can be further accentuated by the fact that loneliness has now been officially included in the factors which can cause diseases like Alzheimer’s or Cardiovascular disorders.
Meditation or mindfulness bring your focus to the present moment. When it is evident to the people around you that they have your entire attention, it creates a huge difference in terms of making and maintaining meaningful, deep, and affectionate relationships with them. By making you calm and peaceful and promoting your inner happiness, meditation helps you avoid unnecessary conflicts and arguments which further help to strengthen your relations.
It Promotes Your Inner Contentment
What’s unfortunate in the present time and age is that more often than now, the sense of our happiness is completely reliant on the external factors. Be it associated with the money, approval of the peers, success at work, or perhaps an affectionate relationship. When your happiness is dependent on such external factors, it is destined to fade away since the cause of it is not in your control. But the idea of inner happiness is lost on a lot of us. The inner happiness or contentment that is also known as “Eudaimonic Happiness” is entirely in our control since it is associated with the inner sense of well-being. Aristotle was the pioneer who explored this concept.
Meditation is a surefire way of promoting your own happiness since it helps to stimulate the sense of inner well-being that leads to inner contentment, satisfaction, and happiness. The inner happiness that mindfulness helps to achieve is more permanent in nature since it can stand alone even if the relevant external factors like money and relationships are removed. Considering the age of consumerism, we have all been robbed of this feeling today. But with a simple technique of meditation and mindfulness, you can easily kindle the fire of inner contentment within yourself again.
It Engages Your Sense Of Gratitude
Last but not least, meditation and mindfulness practices have a way of engaging your sense of gratitude. By removing the disturbing thoughts from your mind and bringing your focus to the here and now, it makes you more present to the beautiful symphony, the delicious food that you are eating, the mesmerizing sound of the falling rain, the vibrant affection of your partner, or the miracle of breathing. Simply put, meditation turns you into a more positive person. It brings your attention to the present and unlocks your potential to see the good in it. Moreover, mindfulness practices often include a personal mantra. Statements like “I’m thankful for …” ending with something or someone that you absolutely love about your life. Such an exercise helps to desensitize your brain for all the negativity and makes it happier by focusing on what’s good, joyful, and exciting.
“Laughter is the best medicine”. Perhaps because it is what brings happiness to an individual. It is evident from the aforementioned information that happiness is the sole ingredient that has been missing from your life, acting as a barricade for your true potential to achieve success. By sparing just 15 minutes of your time every day for meditation, you can stimulate your sense of inner well-being, contentment, and eventually achieve the true, unconditional happiness that you deserve. Once you are truly and genuinely happy with yourself and with your life, everything else will become your destiny which includes success.
We are not here to trick you into purchasing a medicine, we are not offering a program that will cost you hundreds of dollars every month, we are just asking for 15 minutes of your time every day and that too for your own benefit. If you think it is something that you can invest in your happiness, success, and overall quality of life, then it is time for you to experience the benefits of meditation. If you are not convinced after trying, there’s nothing to stop you from giving it up. So, what do you have to lose?