If you were to ask any single person whether they want to be happy or not, you would imagine unquestionably the answer would always be a resounding yes. However, there are so many of us that fail to make the choices for ourselves that will actually lead us to happiness.

Instead, we constantly strive for happiness in the forms of quick fixes and swift wins. Some people choose alcohol, some narcotics, some shop-a-holicism, and some simply wasting away the hours of each day with pacifiers like social media, television, or similar.

All of these things that keep us “hooked” rarely offer us any kind of long term happiness or gains towards that goal. Instead we utilise the short term benefit of the quick fix, and without realising it actually take more steps backwards after the satisfaction has worn off.

We all strive for happiness in whatever dose we can find it, and so the small doses are really quite attractive propositions because we think in that moment we can get what we want in life in an easily consumable way. But of course, when we think about this logically, this is counter-productive to the main aims.

Happiness is not something we can dose on, it doesn’t come in the shape of a bottle, or on a television screen, or in those new pair of shoes. It’s not to say these things can’t add some fun or enjoyment to your life, but they are just doses of joy and they always expire quickly.

The pursuit of happiness should instead be about consistent growth to our wellbeing, because happiness isn’t actually something we can guarantee or quantify. The only option that could ever present contentment, happiness, and lasting joy is consistent practice in looking after your body, your mind, your relationships, and what you can offer to the world.

These four things, perhaps with a few other additions, are the single most important factors to the level of your wellbeing. Everything else we put on top of these are secondary, and don’t necessarily contribute to our lasting happiness.

Contrary to the title of this article, happiness does not necessarily lead to success. It all depends on what you quantify as “success”. In the pursuit of being the best version you can be – the most healthy, good, and joyful you – you may inadvertently find happiness but it is a byproduct of the efforts you are making to be your best.

If your primary focus is on your own wellbeing and the relationships you build, then everything else is more likely to fall into place. Being the most well and good person you can possibly be means that you bring your best game to your work, to your relationships, to your hobbies, and everything else in life and through this you are far more likely to succeed.

You’re more likely to succeed because the energy and genuine positivity you will give off to others will be infectious, meaning that your relationships – personally and professionally – will benefit significantly from this, opening up doors and possibilities you never might have had the potential for before.

By striving to be your best version of yourself with kindness, drive, energy, positivity, compassion then you will inadvertently find happiness and success. Striving for success can lead to the opposite of happiness, and striving for happiness can lead to confusion of what actually makes you happy (small doses of pacifiers), so instead work towards being well and doing good in your life and for the world and the rest will always follow.