These days every other book on the shelves is about how to be a success. And these books equate success with certain factors: How to get rich, lose weight, make friends, be efficient and organized, and even how to be successful at developing habits that lead to success. Here is a list of the top 25 books according to SUCCESS magazine (yes there is even a dedicated magazine all about success)! It is a global obsession. It used to be people just wanted to be able to get food on the table and put a roof over their heads. Boom, done and dusted and then fall asleep feeling pretty successful. Now they need to do that, and have numerous higher education degrees, multiple homes, not to mention umpteen friends or likes on social media. Oh I forgot,they also need to have the latest cool car, wear a size 2 and not have any forehead wrinkles!
Now I am not a self help motivational guru. I am just little old me, a yankee doodle paddy here. But I have my own definition of success that I want to share with you today. But before I get to that here is the definition of success according to the oracle of word analysis, the famous dictionary dot com!
Success: pronounced [suh k-ses]
1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals.
2. the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.
3. a performance or achievement that is marked by success, as by the attainment of honors:
4.a person or thing that has had success, as measured by attainment of goals, wealth, etc.:
The listed synonyms are achievement, fame, triumph. Hmmm, in other words, materialism, idolatry and power?
No offense whatsoever, but I just want to take issue with a couple of points. First off it would appear that most of these deal with the end or the final goal achieved. I think life is a journey and with its constantly evolving nature, one could achieve “success” while still attaining goals.
Secondly, I think there is one major factor here and that is the omission of any reference to happiness. You see in my book anyway, when I see the typical notion of success like a wealthy businessman or a famous supermodel, they don’t actually look very happy. That is not something I would aspire to, yet many people are on a quest clutching at that kind of elusive “success”.
So for what it is worth, here is my definition of success: HAPPY! When I see a happy person that is what draws me, what inspires me, and consequently what I aspire to everyday. While happiness by nature is also elusive because life does throw curve balls. In fact I have shared openly on here about a time I wasn’t very happy. But I feel that I do have success because I am HAPPY, even though I am not a size 2, have the latest cool car or bucket loads of money in the bank. Thanks be to God I have food on the table and a roof over my head. Sure I don’t have umpteen likes on my Facebook page, but that is because as I have told you before I don’t have a Facebook account.
But I am blessed to have many people that engage with me daily on snapchat (my username is blissbakery). And frequently they comment on my happiness. They tell me that watching my stories makes them happy and ask how and why I am so happy. Of course I am open about my faith and it is the core reason why I have always been a happy persons in spite of the many traumas I have endured in my lifetime. But I have been wanting to share this acronym (I love them) about success and so today, for a little Monday Motivation shall we say, I am laying it out for you!
If you take each letter of the word HAPPY and create an acronym, these core traits might help you as they have me achieve success. Well, my definition of success, which is being happy!
H for Helpful: When we are helpful, doing for others, we take the focus off ourselves. We tend to think less about our problems and issues. By bringing someone else joy, it ends up rubbing off on us too. I’ve shared a couple of stories here and here before about giving to others and a time I was helpful and how it turned out to be “successful”. They might give you examples of my experiences with being helpful.
A for Appreciative: One of my all time fav things in life is to write thank you notes. I practically write thank you notes for getting a thank you note (which I adore receiving). I have told the story on here about why I am so grateful for having food to eat. It must be hard sometimes for people that have never been wanton for anything to know how to appreciate things. But common courtesy and saying thanks is always a good habit to form. And focusing on what we have, rather than what we don’t, helps keep us happy!
P for Persistent: While I haven’t written a story about this particular topic, interestingly enough, if you know me you know that I am a super persistent person. My hubby calls it stubbornness! Haha! However, take this blog and what little social media I do for instance. It is so incredibly hard for me to do these things because I am so tech challenged. But I am determined to get this message to you so I keep at it! And I shout my little disclaimer on the ABC of YDP so you all cut me some slack for typos etc! One of the best quotes on this topic is: “A river cuts through a rock not because of its power but its persistence” I’ll keep slowly flowing over this tech rock, aiming to cut through, but until then thanks for being patient with my persistence!
P for Positive: It goes without saying that if you see a happy person they are going to be positive. And if you are positive, you want to stick with those that bring positivity to the table as well, lest the negative energy vampires try to suck the life force out of you! One of my fav stories of positivity vs negativity is when two kids were put in separate rooms that had been filled to the brim with horse manure. P.S. I am not condoning this by the way. But the negative child was obviously not amused and was in fact moaning and crying saying, “This is disgusting, whaaa, whaaa get me out of here it stinks!”. The positive child was laughing and giggling saying, “Weeee this is fun, where are you pony, where are you, hahahahaha! I know with all this horse poop there must be a pony in here somewhere, come out, come out where ever you are!” Okay, pretty graphic, but you get the point, right? So when you think of positive, think of pony!
Y is Youthful: You don’t have to be young to be youthful. I am 51 years young and people seem to be shocked when I tell them this. Not that I don’t have my fair share of wrinkles or grey hair. But I am playful, curious, willing to try new things and youthful in my view of the world. I have hope and wonder which are so important to maintain some innocence. Some people might think it is naiveté or trying to live in a bubble. But spend any amount of time around children and you see that they live in the moment and are indeed happy! Sure they bonk their heads and have the wee cry, but then carry on being creative and imaginative!
So being Helpful, Appreciative, Persistent, Positive and Youthful are all traits that make me a HAPPY person. These may or may not work for you. Maybe you have your own traits that help you be happy and a success. I would love you to share them with me. And while I am waiting to hear from you, here is something else I will share with you that will make your tummy happy. My Yankee Doodle Paddy Cookies. Why are they called that? Cuz they have American and Irish ingredients! They are delicious Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies and they will rock your world. Trust me one bite and you will be in a state of bliss. You won’t be worrying about reading one more book to help you be a success. You will just be wanting to eat more than one of these cookies!
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat brown sugar, butter and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats, chocolate morsels and nuts; mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE for 9 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies or 12 to 13 minutes for crispy cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 1 minute; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Depending where you are you might not be able to get the famous American chocolate chips from Nestle Toll House (from whom this recipe comes). Or for that matter the gorgeous Irish oats from Flahavan’s or the Kerrygold Butter (which you can’t see the packaging but click here to see my love affair with the best butter in the world ). However you can still make these delicious cookies with you own ingredients! You’ll be happy you did!