THE BLOG

A Positive Psychology Approach to Success

04/21/2015 04:20 pm ET | Updated Jun 21, 2015

Around 80 percent of adults report having the feeling of being stuck or wanting more out of life.

It's not that we're unhappy. It's not because of an underlying mental disorder or anything like that. We just want to be happier than we are now. We want change for the betterment of our lives. The only problem is that most people aren't comfortable with change. Change can be hard.

I used to embrace change. I hated routine. I changed mine often. I used to become uncomfortable with getting too comfortable. I enjoyed variety. I'd get sick of doing something and move on to something else. That's growing. I learned a lot.

I reinvented myself many times. I became the person I thought I'd always wanted to be. I had confidence, clarity, motivation, and the desire to achieve great things. I was starting to make money and see the future that would bring abundance, fortune, and glory.

Then something happened. I hit a cold streak. A very cold streak. I hit a wall and was at a breaking point. I lost it all. It was like I was in a speed boat that was going way too fast. Something got in the way and I had to turn. The speed and momentum of the turn threw me off the boat. I didn't know how to swim. I tried to swim but it was just making things worse. So I drowned.

I was overworked, overwhelmed, and over my desire to follow my previously established dreams. I lost all confidence, clarity, and motivation that once held me up towards great heights. I sunk back into my shell of the person I thought I had left behind. That bothered me. A lot. So I bailed. I quit my job, moved back home, and decided to start over.

I had to look at things from a different angle this time. My first go around at trying to follow my dreams of a successful life was flawed. I'd work 14 hours a day making peanuts in hopes of paying my dues and making my way to the top.

That way of thinking is old school mentality. You don't have to sell all of your time, focus, and energy to become a success. It works. But, there is a better way. A way that doesn't have to leave you drained mentally and physically. A way that allows you to take time for things that matter in your life. The reason why you want to be successful. What I'm talking about is using mindfulness and positive psychology strategies to focus on your well-being. When you enhance your well-being, you increase your ability to not only perform at a high level, but also get into a flow of life that creates balance. I used mindfulness exercises to clear my head of all the junk and things like worry, stress, overthinking, and false belief systems. With positive psychology, I've learned to express gratitude and leverage my strengths. I became more present and learned how to quiet my monkey mind of its scattered thoughts.

As opposed as I was to routine, I knew I needed some structure in my life. My body and mind couldn't handle going a thousand miles an hour anymore. I began to meditate. It wasn't long before I started to become filled with a desire to do something more meaningful with my life.

Positive psychology helped me to realize that I could follow my dreams and not have to sacrifice all of my time to reach them. It helped me change my mindset. I learned that I could work hard and do so in a positive flow where I was creating energy, not draining it. I learned that by stepping away and putting my physical and mental health on the front burner, I could accomplish more, not less. The idea behind positive psychology is to put more emphasis on human potential and to not just survive, but to thrive.

That's why I came up with a new dream to follow. One I knew I couldn't fail because I no longer believed in failure, only lessons that are learned. My new dream revolves around helping people break free from the struggles and obstacles that set them back. I show people how to use ideas like mindfulness and positive psychology to not only improve their overall well-being, but to also use as a foundation to reach for their dreams.

Do you know what separates successful people from those who are still struggling along on their path?

Besides the obvious factors like talent and opportunity, there are two major players in the mindset of the successful that the others have yet to master. They are self-control and grit.

Self-control is being able to control your attention, your emotions, and your behavior in moments when something appealing or attractive comes along. Mindfulness meditation is a great way to work on your self-control. When you're able to quiet your thoughts, you have more focus and clarity.

Grit is having the determination and perseverance to keep pursuing your goals through all road blocks. Most of the time, our road blocks are self-imposed. Grit doesn't have to mean working 16 hours a day. What's important is being able to keep pushing forward in your pursuits without sacrificing your livelihood.

It took some hard lessons for me to realize that success doesn't have to come at all costs. Success should be something that is a result of your ability to lead a happy fulfilling life, full of meaning, joy, and abundance.