Is Happiness One Of Your Metric To Success?

May 30, 2016 1 Min Read


A few years ago, I sought to answer a simple, yet profound question:

What makes you happy and why?

It set me on a journey of self-discovery as I sifted through my childhood experiences, my family values, my education and my personality. I thought I found my answer.

What makes me happy?

I had zeroed in on “impact”. I found a common pattern emerge as I jotted down events that had made me happy. Every time I influenced a situation around me positively, I had felt satiated.

Being the school prefect boosted my ego, but leading my school team to debate and quiz wins was the bigger thrill. Mentoring and knowing I changed the course of people’s lives and careers was exhilarating. Shaping the product portfolio at a start-up almost got me on a high.

The pattern was obvious to me then. It was about making a difference. Success, I thought, was all about making an impact.

But then it struck me that in going through this exercise, I was equating success to happiness. In fact, I realised that impact was really a means to happiness. It all came a full circle as I concluded that contention and happiness were great measures for how successful I was in life. This consciousness, in turn, brought a refreshing framework to my thought process.

Happiness drove a firm sense of security and purpose for me. It also generated greater self-awareness. Knowing that I need to do the right thing for me—for who I am—helped me widen my horizon to see beyond impact.

As an example, I began to consciously practise compassion as it empowered me to do the right thing. I stayed away from people emanating negative energies if I could not help them let go of it. I watched out for discontent as a signal for stagnation and drove change.

In a sense, recognising the happiness paradigm and framing a mental model around it helped build a very positive cycle thrusting me towards greater success.

True meaning of happiness

As I wind my life tape forward, I see myself continuing my pursuit of happiness. When I get to a point where my happiness is innate, I would have accomplished it all.

Happiness, my one metric for success, is not a number. It is a state-of-mind that I strive for.

Some of you can argue this is utopian. Others—those for whom happiness is already innate—would consider this common sense.

At the end, I suppose the notion of success is subjective and is a reflection of who you are. Happiness is my one metric to success. What’s yours?

Vijay Nagarajan is the senior director of Wireless Connectivity Business at Broadcom. He is known as a hands-on general manager with experience running global teams and turning around large businesses. To learn more about emotional intelligence at organisational level, email us at For more Try This articles, click here.

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