Robert Holden wants you to be happy.

The celebrated author, lecturer, philosopher and director of The Happiness Project and Success Intelligence has spent his career teaching people how to be happy, and how to leverage that happiness into being more successful in their lives and workplaces. His books and seminars have been featured on Oprah and BBC television and he has worked with major organizations like Dove, Virgin, IBM, Coca-Cola and Unilever to help their employees live better, more productive lives.

He says the value of true happiness is that it energizes people and gives them the tools to be more successful.

“Happiness is like an internal compass — it helps you to be authentic and enables you to be your best self. When you’re drawing on an innate happiness, that helps you to be more successful and people who are happier to begin with do tend to be more successful in the long run,” Holden said.

Holden dedicates his work to his parents, both of whom led difficult lives. His mother battled crippling depression and his father struggled with alcoholism, eventually leaving the family to become homeless when Holden was 15.

“When that happens, you start to question what is happiness, what is success. The Happiness Project belongs to my mum and Success Intelligence belongs to my dad. This is my spiritual journey,” Holden said.

Robert Holden’s five happiness tips

Build a definition of success: “We live faster than ever before but I don’t think we necessarily live better. If your definition of success is isn’t clear, your direction in life won’t be clear.”

Beware of chronic busyness: “One of the biggest blocks to genuine happiness is being permanently busy — we’re too busy to be happy, too busy to be successful and too busy to be with our family. We’ve confused busyness with success but being busy is not a competitive advantage.”

Avoid destination addiction: “Destination addiction is when you define happiness and success only in future terms — you’re racing towards some imaginary finish line but you never get there. Of course you need a future goal but a successful life can only be the one you’re living now. Learn to celebrate the small successes on the way.”

Don’t constantly go it alone: “If a project or situation feels like too much to do it on your own, you’re not meant to do it on your own.”

Give back by making yourself happy first: “There’s a huge relationship between happiness and altruism. When you follow your joy, you become inspired and your happiness can spread to other people. I truly believe when you’re happy, you make the world a better place.”

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