Unraveling the Relationship Between Achievement and Happiness

With how fast-paced and materialistic life is, you might have started measuring your achievements with things: getting a new promotion, a new job, or a new car. Achievements have even been coming out on social media as a status symbol. They are being paraded around as the key to happiness.

But is achievement related to happiness? What happens when you achieve something in life? Why and how do you feel happy about it? This article dives into understanding what achievement is, how achievement is related to happiness, and how to balance achievement and well-being.

Read more to find out about the relationship between achievement and happiness.

Defining achievement in the context of happiness

Achievements can be interpreted in many dimensions. It can involve personal, professional, and even intrinsic goals. Narratives are usually conditioned by time and surroundings. Two basic narratives describe achievement from a societal and cultural perspective.

The first societal narrative is that achievement equates to success. Society makes you believe achievement is only achieved through accomplishing goals or hitting certain milestones — what most people call success. Accomplishing “big” goals is also labeled as significant achievement. This belief can be instilled by our loved ones,  surroundings, educational institutions, or even work environments.

However, any achievement — small or big — should be considered equal. It can be as simple as being able to read a book a day. A true sense of achievement can be personal and intrinsic, which leads to happiness.

Read more: Reasons and Ways to Celebrate Your Achievements 

Second, achievements are also culturally characterized as achieving certain milestones at a particular age range. Like going to university after high school or marrying after getting a job, all before your 30s. That’s a cultural narrative because it’s what’s considered “normal.”

However, you have to believe that even if you don’t land in a university or a job, your achievements are no less important.

While many misconceptions wrap achievement concepts in a tight roll, one of the most important is that materialistic achievement can lead to happiness. However, this can’t be true with everyone or in every situation. Every small initiative matters and can be seen as an achievement.

The science behind achievement and happiness

Your life goals help you achieve happiness, but it’s not only about accomplishing them. True happiness is about the journey you take to achieve it.

The issue with anchoring your happiness to achievement is that if your expectations of your achievements are not met, it can significantly hamper your happiness.

How you frame your goal and what steps you take can help you achieve long-lasting contentment. Positive psychological interventions help individuals set goals, organize a roadmap, and be grateful for what they have achieved so far.

Thus, you have to understand that achievements and happiness are related. Simultaneously, understanding your set targets is equally important. You have to achieve something and also be happy. Be grateful for the process, and reflect on what you have achieved so far.

You can start by making a small list of things you are grateful for every month. This will help you better understand your achievements and be thankful for them.

Balancing achievement and happiness

The need to balance achievement and happiness has many requirements. The following are a few initiatives that can help achieve this balance:

Setting meaningful goals

Meaningful goals are a foundational step toward your achievements. They help you understand what you want, need, and require as per your goals.

Having meaningful goals comes from personal values and your understanding of yourself. Meaningful goals help format set paths about your core beliefs with achievable goals, driving motivation and long-term happiness. When your goals align with your beliefs, it ensures a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Read more: Three Ways to Keep Motivated in Achieving Goals 

Cultivating a positive mindset

Having the right mindset sets you on the path of your achievements. Having a positive mindset helps with your achievement as well as enhances your overall well-being and happiness. The following steps can help cultivate a positive mindset:

  1. Practice gratitude. Be thankful for what you have achieved so far and what you currently have. You can have a diary for this or even write it digitally.
  2. Set goals. Write down your achievable small goals. Do this every day, week, or year. Reward yourself with little treats.
  3. Learn continuously. Every obstacle or difficulty you have faced makes you learn something. Sometimes it’s very obvious, but at times when you share it verbally or write it down, it helps you to relate to the learning.

One of the most important practices is embracing obstacles. This helps with forming a growth mindset. Having a positive mindset, even during adversities, can help you face challenges calmly and solve the situation correctly to achieve success and happiness.

Read more: Seeking Pleasure and The Pursuit of Happiness 

Finding joy in the journey

Your journey towards your achievement and happiness can be hard at times, but valuing it is equally important. This process will help you enjoy achieving your goals and contribute to a growth mindset that leads to lasting happiness.

Achieving your objectives requires fully engaging in the path, confronting obstacles as they come up, and dedicating concentrated effort and focus. This method promotes a sense of flow, marked by total involvement and pleasure in the current moment.

In a state of flow, your endeavors bring about fulfillment and joy. Participating in activities that induce flow is crucial for overall well-being and lasting happiness.

In conclusion

The connection between happiness and achievement can have many aspects and requires a proper balance between desire and satisfaction. For this, set meaningful goals, have a positive mindset, and appreciate your journey toward your goals.

Remember that in this journey, achievements can be defined by milestones and opportunities where you grow, learn, and make mistakes. Happiness can sometimes be the decisions you make every day. They may be big or small.

Your happiness is your choice. Thus, remember to spend more time on activities that align with your values, foster relationships, practice gratitude, and set goals. You will find different ways to be happy on your path, leading to fulfillment and long-lasting happiness.

Take small, intuitive steps towards achieving something, and find everlasting happiness in the journey.

If you would like to see more resources on accomplishments, check out the Happiness Science Labs. The lab uses the research of the Institute for Life Management Science to produce courses, certifications, podcasts, videos, and other tools. Visit the Happiness Science Labs today.

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