“For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it.”
– Viktor E. Frankl
Walk into any gym or meet with any personal trainer and the first question you’ll be asked is: “What are your goals?” Seems earnest enough, right? They care about me. They want to help me achieve what I’ve always wanted in my fitness.
But what happens when you achieve that goal? Are you happy? How long does that happiness last?
“Happiness is not on the other side of success. Success does not create happiness. Happiness creates success.”
When you first graduate college your goal is to get that first job. After a year in that first job, you want a promotion. After that promotion you want a raise. After that raise you want a bonus. And so on…
Happiness is not on the other side of success.
Let’s say you finally lose that 20 pounds you’ve told every trainer you want to lose. What then? If you weren’t happy with yourself 20 pounds heavier, you won’t be happy with yourself 20 pounds lighter.
I don’t care about your goals because achieving your goals will not make you happy. What will make you happy?
Being thankful for what you can do and are doing today will make you happy. Seriously. Being thankful for your present circumstances will actually make you happier.
Many neurobiologists believe that humans don’t actually possess the capacity for consciousness independent of other people. That our emotional landscape is actually developed through an interpersonal context. Meaning, your feelings of “happiness” exist (or don’t exist) solely in the context of relationship.
Here’s a challenge: next time you’re feeling “unhappy,” go to the grocery store and buy everything in someone’s cart. Volunteer for a day with Habitat for Humanity. Hell, just sit and listen to someone for an hour. We’re wired for service and self-sacrifice. Our brain craves it so much that it has built-in feel good juice it uses each time we’re of service to others.
If I don’t care about your goals, what do I care about?
We never ask a new member: “What are your goals?” Instead, we ask questions that actually matter:
- What are three things that are going great in your life right now? (Gratitude)
- What will success feel like to you?
See the difference? You’ll never be happy with your weight if you’re not thankful for things today. You may say you want to lose 20 pounds, but you’ve never thought about how that will make you feel. Confident? Empowered? Beautiful? Our goal is to identify all of the things that will make you feel the feelings of success before you’ve “reached your goal.”
Our tagline is: Community. Commitment. Results. Without the community of relationships and service to others, you’ll never be happy with your results. Through gratitude, relationships, and community you will have happiness before success. Success is the byproduct of happiness.