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Finding Success Through Choosing Happiness

by Stephanie Kormos, CPA, CA, Partner

As we are in waterski season I find myself thinking about my brother a lot. Much of the reason that I can waterski at all is a result of some of the peer pressure from my brother. So every time I get in the water I think about him encouraging me or challenging me. Some of my fondest memories of my brother are out at the lake.

My brother was an achievement-driven person: if he was going to do something he was going to work at it until he was the best. He became very good and quite possibly one of the best at a lot of things. But this didn’t seem to make him happy. I often wonder if the achievement of a goal for him created more of a feeling of emptiness than a fulfillment. Where most would have a feeling of accomplishment, he became lost, looking for that next goal to replace the void of the one he achieved.

In a webinar from the VitalSmarts series on influence they talk about accountability in creating change and challenge the listeners to ask themselves six questions every morning:

Did I do my best to…

  • Be happy?
  • Find meaning?
  • Be fully engaged?
  • Build positive relationships?
  • Set clear goals?
  • Make progress towards goal achievement?


The first question of the series of six really jumped out at me. Often when we get caught up in the achievement of goals we don’t think about whether or not doing the tasks to get there will make us happy. I mean really, what does being happy have to do with it?

The choice to be happy can drive us to make other choices that will help us achieve and be successful. I think that very rarely in the past would I say I had honestly tried my best to be happy on any given day. How much would life change if we all tried to do our best every day to be happy? What other choices would follow? How would we view successes and failures differently? I wonder if my brother actually tried to achieve a goal to do his best to be happy every day, how the achievement of that goal would have been different from the other goals he achieved?

Ask yourself, did you do your best to be happy today? If not, what could you do tomorrow – or better yet right now – to change your response?


Click here for a downloadable PDF of Happy.

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