What happy and successful people do differently
What happy and successful people do differently

Pop quiz: Are you:

(a) happy because you're successful

(b) successful because you're happy? 

(c) none of the above? 

If, like most of us, you could use a crash-course in how to boost your levels of both happiness and success, try these suggestions on for size

Happy and successful people say 'no'

Repeat after me: it's okay to say 'no' to others, including (and sometimes especially) your children! Don't compromise to make others feel better. Ask yourself: 'In doing this, am I diminishing someone else's ability to take responsibility for themselves?' And if you feel pangs of the dreaded mother-guilt for saying no to your kids, take parenting educator Michael Grose's excellent advice: 'Delaying gratification is not only virtuous, but good for children. Educational and social outcomes tend to be better for kids who are able to delay gratification.'

They know that organisation is the key to sanity

Flying by the seat of your pants is so last decade - the only way to survive (and thrive) is to be highly organised in as many areas of your life as possible. Buy a filing cabinet and use it religiously. Plan your week's meals. Set the breakfast table and pack your kids' bags the night before. Everything you do in preparation is like putting money in the bank, as it will act as a pressure valve when you need it most.

Successful people are their own best friend, and a good friend to others

Getting a manicure or catching a movie solo is not selfish. It's a way of nurturing yourself so that you are more fully able to be the best parent and partner you can be. It's not only healthy to do things that support your wellbeing - it's essential. Do them. Try to balance this by regularly doing nice things for your nearest and dearest. They don't have to be big things - just a cheery phone call will do. The buzz you will get from doing others a good turn will last for a long time.

They surround themselves with supportive people

Mark Twain was onto something when he said, 'Keep away from those who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you can become great, too.'

They take steps to start nurturing a passion

In The Mum Who Roared (Exisle Publishing, 2011), Christie Nicholas lists nurturing a passion as her number-one way to avoid the identity crisis from which many new mothers suffer. 'You won't have time to throw yourself in headfirst, but if you move towards spending more time on a personal interest, you will start to look forward to doing something that matters to you as an individual. This will shape your daily attitude and provide a break from being a mum, wife and everything else.' The time to learn conversational Spanish is now, not later!

They look closely at their most important relationships

Don't waste valuable energy propping up those who drain you. Ask yourself: 'Does this relationship bring truthfulness and ease, or am I the one who has to keep it going?' If it's the latter, it's time to move on.

They adopt a positive role model

It could be someone you know and admire, but it doesn't have to be - it could be Michelle Obama. So when you worry about crow's feet, ask yourself: 'What would Michelle do? She would be secure enough in herself to know that lines on a face are a roadmap of where laughter has been.' In The Mum Who Roared, Christie Nicholas quotes mum-of-two Deanna as saying: 'There was this mum who was running a top business, looked amazing all the time, had sexy chemistry with her husband and a well-behaved child. In the beginning I did not want to be anywhere near her because it reminded me of everything I didn't have. But I changed my attitude and spent more time with her so I could learn what it took to look, feel and be as confident as she was. I discovered she was a woman just like me. The difference was that she genuinely believed everything she touched would turn to gold. That is a magic ingredient to her confidence levels. I started to feel inspired and more confident about what skills I had and what I could achieve. I learnt I could be as confident as I allow myself to be.'

This article was written by Karen Fontaine for our sister site Kidspot.com.au

Connect with Kidspot:


what's new on kidspot