How to be happy and achieve the success you want - Your Peak State

How to be happy and achieve the success you want

Yann Ilunga
Written By: Yann Ilunga posted November 18, 2015

Happiness, everyone wants it. We all strive to be happy and achieve success, whether that’s in our personal life, our professional one or in both. In this post I share some traits some of the most successful entrepreneurs and creatives share that will help you reach your goals and be happier.

1. Purpose

I have recently discussed the topic on the 360 Entrepreneur Podcast with health coach Jeff Spires, who is the author of How to Succeed in Life & Happiness: 7 Steps to Fulfilment. The book looks deep into the science behind what actually makes us feel alive and connected. 

One of the things he stressed during our conversation is the key role purpose plays. What’s your WHY?

Why do you want to do what you’d like to do? Why do you want to be successful? 

Your definition of success matters, no doubt about it. However, purpose is what can help you move forward, especially through tough times.

A couple of months ago, I had an interesting conversation with View From the Top CEO Aaron Walker, who talked about how, at some point in his life, he wasn’t feeling happy – despite making millions of dollars – because of the lack of purpose. 

This is just an example that speaks volume, as of how important purpose is.

2. Motivation

Motivation is what fuels our engines. Let’s be honest, it’s not that hard to be motivated when things go well. But what about when they don’t go “according to plan”?

My #1 advice to stay as motivated as possible and thrive, during hard times in particular, is to take time to celebrate small wins. 

Let’s say your goal is to write a book that hits the New York Times best-sellers list. If that’s the only thing you focus on, there’s the risk of losing motivation and becoming frustrated. We want things right away, but more times than not we have goals that are long-term.

Even so, we don’t shy away from our eagerness of wanting to achieve them today.

Do you want to write a NYT best-seller? Start by celebrating smaller accomplishments. Take a moment and be grateful for having finished your first chapter. Your second chapter. Your third chapter.

Typewriter on desk

Have you finally launched your book? Make sure to celebrate that. Has your title hit the best-sellers list on Amazon? You definitely want to be happy about that!

By celebrating small wins, you’re going to feel motivated to move toward achieving the next small goal. That’s going to be something that takes you one step closer to your big-picture goal.

3. Gratitude

During our interview, Jeff Spires also touched on the importance gratitude has, when it comes to being happy and achieve success.

But what exactly does gratitude mean? To some extent, it ties into what I have been discussing for the role motivation plays.

Being grateful goes beyond simply celebrating small wins, though. It’s taking a moment to be aware and grateful for the good people you have in your life or something nice that has happened to you today.

I previously wrote about journaling as a component of the morning routine made popular by Hal Elrod, author of the best-seller The Miracle Morning. In that post, I mentioned the Five-Minute Journal as an excellent resource for journaling. I personally use the Five-Minute Journal app but, as Jeff Spires explained, you can use whatever journaling method works best for you.

Empty Book

The idea is to sit down, ideally before going to bed, and write a list of 2-3 things you’re grateful for. That can be something you have accomplished today, new people you have met or those who are already part of your life.

If you decide to give the Five-Minute Journal a try, you’re going to see that you can also create a list of a few things that would make today great (you want to write down these in the morning). 

The app features a “I am grateful for…” section, which helps you with gratitude. The “What would make today great?”, on the other hand, can help you with productivity and moving forward. 

And in case you need a mood boost, you can get a good dose of inspiration through a section dedicated to your “Daily Affirmations”.


4. Pay It Forward

If you really want to be happy, you’re going to have to pay it forward. If you believe in what you do and are aware of the purpose behind what you do, you’re probably willing to share your message, craft, art or product with the world.

I can’t even begin to describe what genuinely helping others reach their goals and turn their dreams into reality will do for you.

Mind you, this has absolutely nothing to do with boosting your ego. I’m talking about your willingness to pay it forward without any agenda. Helping others succeed and be happy, that’s just it.

So, regardless of what you do, look for ways to pay it forward. Keep in mind that people want to feel connected and that you paying it forward can even be as simple as bringing people together or introduce someone you know to somebody else.

Remember that, as Derek Sivers says, “What’s obvious to you is amazing to others”.

Tweetable quote: “What’s obvious to you is amazing to others” – @sivers

5. Be You

In this post, I have been discussing several factors that can help you be happy and achieve success. Some of these may require a little shift in the way you think or approach your everyday life, if you really want to turn your dreams into reality.

At the end of the day, though, it all boils down to being the best version of yourself. You have your own identity, your way of doing things, connecting with people, being happy…

In the online world, for instance, some individuals create this idealized “persona” that isn’t a reflection of who they really are. 

I want to wrap up this post with some words of encouragement. Don’t be afraid to be who you are. Never be ashamed of your dreams, goals and purpose.

Have what you consider a strong WHY, celebrate small wins, use a journal to write down your thoughts and be grateful, and don’t forget to help others be happy and achieve success in their lives. 


Yann Ilunga,

Author bio:

Yannick "Yann" ilunga is the founder of 360, a blog and training community for entrepreneurs and small business owners. He's also the host of the 360 Entrepreneur Podcast, show that features inspiring conversations with A-Listers like Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, Kim Garst, Bryan Kramer and Natalie Sisson. Connect with Yann on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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