Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Correlation of Happiness and Success

Someone posted a link to my site on the Google Finance message boards over the weekend. I guess quite a few people found the image below fairly humorous, which makes me happy (while many may not appreciate the XKCD humor, if you have ever had an interest in math, science, or computers, it may be just for you). Actually, every time I find Google has directed someone to my site because of something I wrote or posted I feel fairly good about myself. While this tends to lead to an anxiety about whether I can continue to provide content in an interesting manner and a consistent basis, I will push myself to get over it and test and play with ideas. Failure isn't failure unless you let it be.

And I suppose that is partly where I intend to go with this post. Last night, a friend who is living in Spain for the next six months or so sent me a link to check out. She said it was kind of corny, but when I got to the site, it was anything but. With sites dedicated to the attitude aspect of trading (there are many, because it contributes a large portion to being a successful trader, but I am mainly thinking of Attitude Trader), I thought it might be beneficial to post the link she sent: Happiness-Project.

While the entire site is full of useful information for maintaining a good attitude and alleviating stress and escaping feelings of failure, a link to one article struck me as particularly important in the realm of trading (and the economy, for that matter): Does Money Buy Happiness? The conclusion is that many wealthy countries self-define as less happy than certain poorer countries. The reason for this is because happiness is not defined by money, despite what popular culture may have us believe, but instead by success and perceptions of success. The article delves into many reasons why this is, but for the most part it has to do with feeling valuable. Yes, being in a job that makes you money can make you feel valuable, but if you do not participate in other social or intellectual pursuits that may not directly make you money, you lose out on certain value components that will weigh on any feelings of success you may derive from work.

Even instances of failure can be used as stepping stones to success. Embrace the failure and the possible loss of money (whether real or imagined) and proceed. It takes more than two steps to get from wherever you are to the top of the world. Learn to treat each step as a success, whether you find yourself retracing or tripping, climbing or falling.


Anonymous said...

I'm at the moment doing things in my life that could end up as successful or not. I think that taking a positive approach and being happy will ultimately lead to a greater success and enjoying what I do and am eventually rewarded with. Thanks for the article. Nice picture too. :)

Complacent Panda said...

Haha. =) Thank you for the comments and I hope you end up successful!

Take care,