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The 4 Secrets of a Successful and Happy Life

September 16th, 2009 by Bob Bly

Decades ago, in Ted Nicholas’ newsletter, I read an article that outlined the 4 conditions required to enjoy a happy and successful life.

I have since read versions of these rules many times from numerous authors, and through this and my own limited experiences, believe them to be true.

So without further ado, here are the 4 things you need for a happy and successful life (note: the list below gives you WHAT you need, but not HOW to get them; that will be covered in upcoming blog posts):


A greater-than-average income and net worth free you from money worries, increase your self-esteem, and give you greater security and peace of mind than 97% of the rest of the world enjoys.


The second key to happiness is to find a career that you not only enjoy but are actually passionate about.

As the late Les Paul said, if you do your hobby for a living, you?ll never work a day in your life.


Your life will not be complete without friends, family, and others you care deeply about and who care deeply about you.


In a way, health is the most important of the 4 criteria, for without good health, it is exceedingly difficult to attain the other 3 ? or enjoy them if you already have them.

Are there any items here that you do not agree with? Any missing that you would add?


This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 16th, 2009 at 9:34 am and is filed under Success. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

63 responses about “The 4 Secrets of a Successful and Happy Life”

  1. JA said:


  2. Raghu said:

    Why don’t you put Health first?

  3. Bob Bly said:

    Raghu: I should have stated that the above are not in any particular order. I didn’t put health first because you need ALL 4 in good measure, and not everyone would choose health first.

  4. God said:

    @JA – Please leave Me out of such innocent things as helpful lists/blogs like this. Save it for something more appropriate, but even then, try not to wear out your welcome by force-feeding it to everyone around you.

    Believe it or not, some people do just fine with the 4 items — and only those 4 — listed by Mr. Bly.

  5. Mele said:

    Whoever is “speaking” for God is doing a bad job of it.

    Mr. Bly asked if we would add anything to this list. JA put in his two cents like any individual with opinions and the freedom to express them.

    You don’t have to agree, but must you insult? Don’t answer that. I don’t intend to get into a pissing match with you (excuse my expression)

  6. Jacqueline Johns - Your Happy Life Mentor said:

    I have to agree with all the previous comments except the one from God! You did ask for opinions…..

    I am The Happiest Person I Know, and one of the reasons for this is comment number one. My friends and family would be shocked to read this, as it’s not something I discuss, or bash people over the head with, and I certainly wasn’t exposed to any religion in my upbringing. I still am not religious (in fact I disagree with organized religion)yet I have found a wonderful relationship which sustains me throughout my life. So, though it’s not something I readily discuss willy-nilly, if you were to ask me what makes me The Happiest Person I Know, the first reason would be this beautiful relationship I have with God. End of bashing!

    Live Life Happy!

  7. Dr. Andrew Linick said:

    I agree with you Bob and I’d add a few more items in no particular order. Happiness is nothing more than good health and a short memory. Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get. The three essentials to happiness are: Something to do; someone to love; and something to hope for. These are some of the things important to me.

    Being in love and having an unconditional love in your life.
    Having a true companion and a few best friends.
    Belly laughs every day.
    Being involved in a worthy, charitable cause.
    (Shameless Plug–Just created website for
    Learning to relax more than once a week.
    Stop worrying and start living in the present.
    Find the real reason for your own existence and ACT on it.
    And last not but least–tadah! (Trumpets anyone?)
    Cultivate a sense of humor and learn to poke fun at yourself!

    In summary, it all boils down to this: It’s mind over matter and in my case I have no mind it doesn’t matter:-)

    Dr. Andrew Linick—The Copyolgist®

  8. Kamil Pitonaj said:

    Still missing something… LOVE

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  10. Bob Bly said:

    Kamil: Love is in #3.

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  12. Steve Rainwater said:

    Hi Bob,

    Good stuff! The Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible agrees with and emphasizes the importance of these 4 things to a satisfying life. The main emphasis of the book from the author is that these can only be truly enjoyed and appreciated in their deepest sense when done in relationship with God. Ecclesiastes approaches the importance of relationship with God from all sorts of perspectives but stops short of telling the reader what activities must be performed (if any) to participate in that relationship. To summarize, I think your 4 secrets are spot on. Ecclesiastes may gently add perspectives on competition and death to your list, but I think these perspectives only serve to enhance the 4 secrets. Relationship with God may be found to help us each make the most of them.

    I look forward to your future comments on how to achieve the 4 secrets. Interestingly – Ecclesisates does not take for granted that achievement of all 4 is possible for everyone, only that those who achieve them should enjoy them. It also assumes levels of achievement will vary. slr

  13. MAS1916 said:

    Thought provoking!

    It seems though that these four are so interrelated that it would be difficult to pull them completely apart. Money and Work of course are closely related, but both of those impact Relationships and Health.

    Thanks for the post!


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  19. Andrew Davis said:

    For most of us, the # 1 thing you must have is plenty of money to satisfy both your needs and wants. Sadly, many of us really consider money as the main source of happiness in life.

    I totally agree with Les Paul point of view. Currently, I’m doing what I want in order for me to support my day to day needs. You know what, I’m happy with my work. Though, I’m aiming for more. The important thing here is I’m enjoying what I’m doing.

  20. ahsin said:

    I like that very much. Every man want to live a successful and happy life and there are many tips and point to make the life happy and successful. I like that and suggest you to view that blog

  21. Sam Reiki said:

    I agree with your list and for me the top most secret to everyone’s success is MONEY. You can actually control your life once you have money. It can help you make the difference.

  22. John igwe said:

    God, is the cardinal, then health comes next.

  23. sono said:

    Money is necessity but its relationship that ultimately gives you happiness. when i say relationship it means your relation with everyone – your friends and family

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    So without further ado, here are the 4 things you need for a happy and successful life (note: the list below gives you WHAT you need Address
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  36. Adam Smith said:

    Great post. I agree that the key to happiness is to find a career that you not only enjoy but are actually passionate about so it will never too late to start your own business. And back then, I have the courage to register company in Hong Kong where I’m in the point in my life where I enjoy what I’m doing while getting richer.

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