True happiness is progress

Money doesn’t buy happiness. It just provides momentary distraction.

Lasting happiness comes from moving forward with positive momentum. It stems from growth, from the newness of progress.


But what is “progress”? Don’t confuse change with progress. Change isn’t always positive. You can change your mind, change your clothes, change your job, and experience a change of heart. None of those changes necessarily reflect progress.

We are the architects of our own happiness. We have the ability to make change—but some people lack the strength. They allow themselves to remain mired in what is familiar and comfortable. There, they stagnate, limiting their progress and true happiness. And they tell themselves (and anyone else who will listen) that if they just make a change in their situation, then they would find happiness.

“Things” don’t change for the better. You change, and with it, you create change. With the right choices, you drive progress. “Better” is not something that automatically happens. Better is what you become when you make progress.

The truth is, change will always happen, with or without your effort. The world is dynamic. It keeps moving—even if you don’t. Change is automatic. Progress requires dedicated effort.

And therein lies the answer.

Plant the seed for progress.

If you are not growing, you’re stagnating—withering in place, like an untended flower. Think about the garden. You decide what to plant and where. You have a vision for what you want to grow. You know what you must do to nurture those plants. You feed them, water them, prune them, and remove the dead leaves and flowers that damage the living ones. You do all this because you have a goal for what you want to achieve.

The great motivator, Earl Nightingale, defined “goal setting” as the “progressive realization of a worthwhile goal or ideal”. Progression, always moving forward, brings the only true and lasting happiness. If you are progressing personally—in your relationships, spiritually, emotionally and physically—you will be happy. Inactivity, idleness, laziness, and dormancy will starve your spirit.

Move forward, one step at a time

Lao Tzu directed that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” It’s only in forward progress, step by step, that the journey to renew a stagnant relationship, or to lose 15 pounds, or to start a new excursion…it’s in that forward movement where you will find true happiness.

We’ve begun a new year. You have an empty garden right now, the opportunity to shape your growth. Last year is behind you. Leave it there. Move forward. Make progress.

Only when we are working to a goal are we happy.

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit

Share Article