In this episode we will be deep diving into the topic of Happiness. As the host of the Happy Productive podcast, it is no surprise that this is one of my favorite topics ever.

Growing up I thought that getting things would make me happy, the job, the money, the car, the house, etc. And while yes those things did bring me happiness, it was short-felt, and not the long-term happiness I was after. It wasn’t until I changed my programing and realized that getting things does not bring me happiness, but rather it’s the happiness which helps me get the things I wanted.

Separating happiness from success is so important because in our culture today we tend to strive for these high levels of success thinking they will bring us happiness. But how many times have you achieved a goal and then thought “why am I still unhappy?”

While success does not lead to happiness, it is actually the happiness which help us achieve success. So why postpone your happiness until you reach a certain goal? Instead work towards cultivating more happiness into your life because it is when you operate from a place of happiness that you are able to operate at your highest potential, which will in turn make your goals absolutely inevitable.

Join me in this episode as I deep dive into the very important difference between success and happiness, and how we can access the happiness that is available to us at all times.



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Questions to help you define the difference between happiness and success

Why you should not postpone your happiness until you reach “success”

The 3 ways we achieve happiness

How we can manufacture more happy thoughts


Goal Achievers

Inner Circle

Best Planner Ever

Best Journal Ever

The Joy Guide


Hello, hello, welcome to Happy Productive episode number 29. I’m Jennifer Dawn, a business coach and founder of the Best Planner Ever. The Happy Productive podcast is your go to resource for learning how to bring awareness into your productivity goals and time management practices. So you can set yourself up each and every day for as much love happiness and joy as you can possibly handle.

Now today, we’re going to be talking about the happiness factor. This is an excerpt from a workshop that I teach called Making Your Goals Inevitable. I just love that word inevitable, right? How awesome is that to think about your goals being inevitable. And in this workshop, I actually teach four different sections. But one of the sections, which is my favorite one is called The Happiness Factor. And that’s what I want to talk about today.

And I want to kick this off with a statement. And the statement is this “getting things, right doesn’t make us happy. It’s being happy, that helps us get things.” All right, think about this for just a second. Because so often, and I know that in my programming as I’ve been as I was growing up, it was the you know, the getting things like if I get things that would make me happy, and guess what I got things and it didn’t make me happy.

Now, it doesn’t mean that we you know, get a new car, and we’re not happy, of course, we’re happy for a short amount of time. But if you’ve got a new car, you know, that after a little while that new car, it doesn’t complete you as a person, it doesn’t like you know, really and truly keep you happy for the long term. Same thing with the new house, right, you get the new house and you’re super happy, la la, everything’s gonna be perfect in my life now. And then that new house starts to break and needs maintenance, or you have to pay that mortgage and after a period of time, it just doesn’t have that effect that it had like right in the beginning.

So I don’t want to say that I’m anti things I’m not things in life are beautiful and wonderful. But what we have to really understand, it’s the getting of things is not what makes us happy, okay, it’s being happy, right, that helps us get more things. And when I made this shift in my own life, it was kind of amazing at how many more quote, things would come into my life, even though I didn’t really need them to be happy, I was happy whether I had them or not. But when they came to me, it was like, wow, like such a beautiful thing. And that’s what I want to share with you today.

And I think it’s a delicate balance here and that we have to understand the definition of happiness, and the definition of success. Because I see this in myself as a business owner, and with so many of the business owners I coach, they do have things in common, but they differ from each other as well. And when you don’t know the difference between happiness versus success, I can really kind of send you down a road, which that at the end of that road is not satisfaction and fulfillment and happiness, okay.

And when you don’t have a defined vision of success, it can really, in fact, prevent you from being happy. And so we’re going to talk about some questions as well today on that you can ask yourself for helping you to define the difference between happiness and success. So as I said, this is one of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen myself and my clients make is that we don’t separate success from happiness, okay? We make them mean the same thing. Oh, if I achieved some level of success, THEN I’ll be happy.

And you may have caught yourself, you know, falling into this trap. And in our culture today, you see it everywhere, right? People striving for these high levels of success because they think that there’s a promise of happiness at the end. But it isn’t true. And you know, it’s not true. When you think about it, how many quote successful people do you see that are clearly not happy? All right, think of celebrities that you know, or you know, successful business leaders that you know, or even like the royal family, right? They’ve been in the tabloids quite a bit. You think about the royal family, right?

There’s a lot of success there. They’re born into everything that as normal human beings, right, like we strive to achieve they have it all. But are they truly happy? Hmm, maybe not so much. Okay. When we think about the word success, we will often associate that with a high salary, right? The ability to have a lot of money so that we can buy really big things. And so it’s really easy to let that define, you know, whether or not you know who we are and whether or not we’re successful.

But let’s talk about the actual definition of success, here’s the definition, the accomplishment of a name, attainment of popularity or profit, and attaining prosperity, okay? There’s absolutely nothing in that definition that says anything about being happy. If you’ve ever met somebody who is successful or wealthy and isn’t happy, you know, that’s the case. And it happens all the time. I’ve read so many books where they’ve interviewed millionaires and billionaires. And they can be some of the most unhappy people that there are in the world.

And when I read the book, Happy Money by Ken Honda, was such a great book, and when he was sharing his studies where he had interviewed like 10,000, like a bunch of millionaires, and so many of them weren’t happy. This is part of what helped me to kind of click it into my brain that going after money, money, money, thinking, it’s going to make me happy, happy, happy was actually wrong. And if you’ve ever had gotten money, which I have, when you have the money, you’re like, this is great. But guess what, I still have to deal with my own happiness, okay, it might make me happy for a little bit, but it is not actual happiness.

So what is happiness, the definition of happiness is a feeling of contentment, delight, or being pleased. That’s it, contentment, delight, or being pleased, has nothing to do with success. It has nothing to do with how much money you have, or how popular you are, has nothing to do with those things. And so it’s really important to know the difference. And then to of course, define these for you for yourself, and be really, really clear about it. Because if you set a goal and you achieve the goal, that would be success. But you could be miserable along the way, right? Or you could be happy along the way you get to choose.

But those are two separate things if you’ve ever achieved a goal. And it was like miserable, like you know, a diet or something where you’re miserable the whole time you achieve the goal of the weight loss, but you were really unhappy the whole time, you can see how they are not the same thing. And here’s what I would really encourage you to do is don’t postpone your happiness. What are you waiting for, right? Happiness is a feeling and it is always available to us no matter what is going on in our outside world.

So why postpone your happiness until you meet some goal, right? And too many of us will spend our time beating ourselves up for not achieving some vaguely defined goal because we’re not, quote successful. And because we haven’t achieved we’re not successful, what do we do, we postpone our own happiness, and we beat ourselves up. And we are really, really hard on ourselves. And it’s like, Oh, I can’t be happy until I get this thing. And it’s baloney, all right. It’s total, like stinky thinking. It is not the thing that is gonna make us happy. It is happiness, right? It’s the happiness that will bring us the things.

And as I drilled into this further, in my own research in my own life, I learned that there are really three ways that we achieve happiness. And those three things are one experiences. Think about that for a second experiences, you take a trip, you go on a vacation, the experience of driving that new car, the experience of buying your first home, or maybe decorating your first home, right, the experience of being with your family, the experience of you know, having a baby or adopting an animal, right? I have a horse and so the experience of being able to spend time and ride my horse, okay. Happiness will come from those experiences.

Number two is growth. It’s our own learning our own becoming our own evolving. Think about this for a second, even if you’ve been through a difficult time, but then you learn from it, right? You grew as a person, there is so much happiness to be found in that experience and that personal and spiritual growth.

And finally, the third way that we can experience happiness is through contribution. And doing work that’s meaningful, right? Maybe volunteer work or being a part of our community, or being a parent, okay? Often, being a parent can be really hard work. But we experience happiness on a level because we’re doing something to raise these children, okay. And so those are three ways that we can experience happiness for ourselves.

And there are so many guys there’s so many studies that show, it’s actually people who are positive and happy, they’re the ones who achieve more. It’s the happiness that leads to success. Happy people live longer, they’re much more likely to be promoted at work or grow their companies. And there was actually a Harvard study where they found it was not success, that led to the happiness, it was the opposite. It was the happiness that led to success. And that’s why being happy right now, no matter what’s going on in your external environment is actually the key to achieving our goals. And remember, this was taught from a workshop called Making Your Goals Inevitable. You want to make your goals inevitable, it’s going to be so important to create a new habit of being happy where you are now, and starting to think of success in different terms and break the two out, okay, separate happiness and success.

But here’s the beautiful thing about being happy when you are unconditionally happy. And I mean, unconditionally happy no matter what’s going on your internal state is still good, it’s still happy, right? Whether you achieve the goal or you don’t you still win, okay? When you’re happy no matter what, if you set a goal and you achieve it, well, you win. If you set a goal and you don’t achieve it, you still win, okay? Because it didn’t shake that internal world, you were still happy. And remember, setting a goal and achieving it. When we talk about like the definition of failure. Failure is not all the bad crap that we put upon it. Failure just means I tried and I didn’t succeed that first time out. That’s it. That’s all failure means. Look it up the definition. I tried this, and I didn’t achieve the result I was after the first time.

And we know that to achieve a goal, we often have to try and fail, try and fail, try and fail, we fail our way to success. And that’s just part of the process. Then why not be happy along the way, why not be happy with the entire process, instead of setting up our thinking around happiness is on the other side of it, because it’s not. All right.

So I’m hopeful hopefully, I’m kind of drilling those in a little bit. But hopefully, you’re understanding the difference between the two. Success is something that we achieve, like on our own terms, it’s a goal that we set for ourselves. And it does not have to define our happiness. Rather, it’s a byproduct, right? Success is just a byproduct of our happiness. And this is really important.

We’re getting here at the end of the year looking to setting new goals for our new upcoming year. And it’s really important to ask ourselves, well, what kind of things do we want to aim for and achieve? But do we want to achieve those things? Because we think that it’s going to make us happy, right? It won’t, instead we want to achieve those things, because it will help take us to that next version of ourselves. Right? That’s the growth and that is where the happiness part will come from.

It’s really, really important to manage our mind and our thinking right into happiness, and to begin creating thought patterns which produce happiness, okay? Now, it doesn’t mean that we’re going to be happy 100% of the time, that’s not realistic, okay? We have emotions, things happen. And that’s perfectly normal. But what we want to strive for is a higher ratio of happiness each and every day, no matter what’s happening in our external world, okay.

And if we can start to program our minds, to produce more happy thoughts, that’s going to increase our ratio of happiness. And when we are happier, we’re going to attract more amazing things into our life. And a thing could be a material possession, but a thing really could be an experience, right and experience, which is like Wow, what an amazing thing that I got to experience and from there, that’s also going to magnify our gratitude and now woohoo now we are like really, really in the flow.

So how can we manufacture more happy thoughts throughout the day? This is a great question. I love asking myself this question and you can do this to what makes you happy each and every day. Maybe it’s doing yoga, getting a good night’s sleep, eating healthy, being on time, reading a great book, going through a course listening to this podcast, you know, being a great parent taking some downtime meditation. Like just sit down and make a list of the things that make you happy each and every single day.

And then just like baking a cake right you bake a cake it has an ingredient list, you put the ingredients in you get a cake. So if you really want to bake a happy cake every single day, look at your ingredients. What are you putting into your day. You can also use of course your Best Planner Ever to bake some more happiness into your day, right with your intention, setting those priority tasks like that makes me happy to sit down and go, Hey, what’s my A task for today and to knock it out.

Today my A task is record my podcast. Okay, so that’s what I’m doing right now. It’s, you know, 6:30 in the morning, and I’m knocking it out. And it makes me so happy to be able to share this information with you. If I if I even change one person’s direction, one person’s life, if I, if I magnify somebody’s happiness, even a little bit, that gives me so much joy. And that’s why that’s an A task for me today, right?

And so sitting down and figuring that out and doing things each and every day, which will essentially produce more happiness. And guys, there’s so many ways to do this, I could talk about it all day. And I really encourage you to come up with your own ways of how can I bake more happiness into my day. But here’s a couple things I want to share with you. So one of the easy ways to do this is practice gratitude. Gratitude, right? It’s a super easy thing. But sometimes when we’re down in a funk, or we think, you know, these things are going to make us happy. And we’re not there yet. And so what happens, we haven’t achieved the goal. So instead of being happy, we start manufacturing a lot of negative emotion, I haven’t achieved it, I’m a failure, when’s it going to happen, I’m so impatient. I’m super disappointed, blah, blah, blah, right.

And then what happens is now what we’re manufacturing is a lot of negative emotion. Instead, what we want to manufacture is happiness, right? That I am where I am, and it’s okay. And one of the great things to practice along, this is gratitude. And I love this exercise, make a list of all the things that you want, but you already have, okay, it’s a little bit of a mind twist, but I love it, okay. So make a list of all the things you want that you already have, I really want to be married, I really want to have children, I really want to have my own home, I really want to own my own business, I really want to drive a truck, I really want to own a horse, okay, that would be my list. But those are all things I already have.

And then practice feeling grateful for what you already have now. That’s just a simple exercise that you can do. And when you’re grateful for the things you already have in life, what’s gonna happen, it’s going to manufacture some, some, some happiness. Okay? Another thing you can do is start to practice acceptance, acceptance, okay, this is one of my favorite words ever accepting, and just accept where I am right now, stop arguing with reality of what’s happening, quit, you know, just quit arguing with it. And instead, just accept, this is where I am, I’m in the present moment. This is how things are.

Now, it doesn’t mean that we’re giving up our power or that we’re not going to take steps to, you know, change things or anything like that. But we’re just going to be present in this moment, this is where I am and everything is okay. And I can take a step to go in a different direction. And when you start to practice acceptance, guess what, it’s going to also generate happiness.

Okay, so these are just a few things that you can do. Change your thinking, when you go through the day and you’re having all these negative thoughts, you know, flip it, we’ve talked about this in other podcasts. Instead of telling ourselves, you know, there’s never enough time to do what I want. Just flip that to I have all the time I need to have all the time I need. Look at that self talk and start to flip it. So that you are literally reverse engineering your thinking to generate more happy positive thoughts. And when you do that, it’s going to generate more happiness for you in your day.

Okay, I hope that you guys take something from this podcast, even just one thing, and start to you know, practice it every single day changing the thinking, opening your heart, really setting your intention. This is powerful, setting your intention to be happy, no matter what is going on, even though maybe you haven’t achieved the goal that you’ve been after and making yourself miserable because you haven’t achieved it yet. Okay, just stop, just stop. Okay?

Embrace happiness right now, today, in this moment, going forward. That is my challenge for you. Okay, be happy while you’re out achieving the goal. Be happy even if things aren’t going your way or you haven’t achieved it just yet. If you can make this powerful switch, it’s going to help you to actually achieve that goal faster and easier. Think about it. When you’re having a good time. Time just flies right? You’re in the flow. You know, something happens. It doesn’t quite right. No worries, you just course correct you move right along. And it’s so much easier it almost be like you achieve your goals faster because you’re having fun in the process as you’re going along.

Okay, I hope you take something from this podcast and implement it into your life so that you can experience more happiness right now today. Don’t postpone it even one more minute in your life. Now if you would like some help with this, and we all need some help, you know, come check out our Goal Achievers, it’s our monthly membership program and in that program, you would get full access to what this workshop which is Making Your Goals Inevitable and there’s so many other great things in there in addition to the happiness factor.

If you need even more help, of course you can come check me out at my website, which is And if today is the day that you decide, hey, I really need a better time management system of course check out the Best Planner Ever at our website, are you guys that’s it. I hope you enjoyed today’s podcast. I hope you’ll take something from it to achieve more happiness in your day right now. No matter what’s going on. Thank you so much for listening. Now get out there and have a Happy Productive day!