Dr. Richard Ellison


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The Significant Relationship between Happiness and Success 


Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that when you become successful in an organization, making more money, you will automatically be happier.  That certainly will not be the case if you do not truly enjoy the work that you do.  Many people have studied the relationship between happiness and success and almost universally conclude that success is not the key to happiness.  Instead, they show that most often happiness is the key to success. 

This is because you will always be more motivated if you are in a career that you are good at, doing work that you love to do.  You will also project a positive self image, making it more enjoyable and productive for your colleagues.  It follows then that you must find a career that: 

  • You are really good at, and 
  • You have a passion for (or have fun) doing it. 

If either of these two factors does not exist, you probably will not be very successful and you will not be as happy as you could be. 

A very good way to narrow down careers that you will be good at and passionate about is the MAPP aptitude test by Assessment.com.  One of the results of this test is a list of the ten best careers for you, in the order that they are best fits.  Another test that will generally show the types of career that you will be good at is the Myers-Briggs MBTI personality test.  The book Career Happiness and Success provides a detailed pathway to use the results of these tests to determine the very best one or two careers for you. 


JANUARY 23RD, 2017

During your first job after graduation, the technical skills you learned in your career field are very important because your employer hired you to primarily to apply those skills to satisfy a need.  And your initial advancements will be earned primarily by how well you execute those technical skills.

However, the rate at which you move up in responsibility will increasingly be based on how well you also execute nontechnical, soft skills such as communication, team building, flexibility and non-technical problem solving.  Studies by the prestigious Carnegie foundation, Stanford Research Institute and Harvard University conclude that one’s success at the highest levels of leadership will be based on 85% of leadership (soft) skills and only 15% of technical skills.  The following table shows an approximation of the importance (from 1 to 10) of various leadership skills various levels of responsibility. 

Self-Motivation is Often Your Most Valuable Trait


In business, school, sports, etc. we all often observe cases where the most talented and/or the brightest don’t succeed anywhere near to the level expected for their apparent capabilities.  Generally, the cause of this situation is that person is not motivated nearly as much as individuals with less capability, but a high level of motivation. This type of situation occurs because the more capable, but less successful person: 

  • Does not produce products comparable to their natural talent. 
  • Spreads the feeling of mediocrely to other less capable individuals 
  • Takes much of the fun out of the work because the excitement of doing a great job just is not there. 

These types of people will not get the big raises or promotions because their value to the organization is very low.  A lot of highly successful bosses will try to get that person to leave because of the negative impact they can have on others. 

On the other hand, some persons with less talent will get the raises and promotions because they are highly self-motivated.  They will always do more and better work than is anticipated.  They will make the work fun because they are excited about the opportunity.  And they will tend to raise the performance of others.  

These highly self-motivated individuals put themselves into a position that almost assures that they will be favored when it’s time for bonuses or promotions.  This is because the boss learns to appreciate the fact that because you do more and better than expected, you are either making their job easier or allowing them to do more, and to also be recognized for advancement.  They consciously or sub-consciously realize that if other less motivated individuals would be favored ahead of you, you could leave and in turn make their job harder. 

Often the pathway to very high positions, occurs in a step-by-step process mainly based continuously demonstrating superior work because of a high level of self-motivation. The importance relationship between self-motivation is expressed by the following quotations from references discussing the topic: 
“Motivation is the most significant predictor of success.” 
“Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting your career, your success will depend almost entirely on how well you can motivate yourself.”  
"People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents."  
“Self-motivation is the force that keeps pushing us to go on– it’s our internal drive to achieve, produce, develop, and keep moving forward.” 

A Solid Way to Increase Your Income Above the Average 


Most workers seem to believe/accept that there are no significant opportunities to make more salary than is typical for others in similar positions.  In the vast majority of cases, especially for college or trade school graduates, this situation is not necessarily true.  

This is because your boss or her boss have reached a level where they realize that their income is directly related to the degree they satisfy the goals and objectives of the organization, whether it be increased profits, recognition, etc. 
Look at your organization and bosses and see if this is the case.  If not, you should be looking for another opportunity that functions that way. 

When there is opportunity, you generally will have the opportunity to separate yourself from your peers.  The simple magic is to become the “outlier” and always produce more and better than expected.  Even without discussion, it won’t take long for your boss and/her boss to recognize that you are helping them all meet or exceed their objectives.  Then naturally, when bonuses and raises are established, and most importantly when promotions are determined, you will get the best results.  This is because bosses know that they cannot afford to lose you.

It does take some extra effort to be that outlier, but great philosophical reward comes from knowing that you are becoming the best and “subconsciously” the favorite employee.  And the best result is that as you perfect the way to be the best outlier, your chance of rising farther than you ever imagined can easily become the reality.   


JANUARY 16TH, 2017
More than 80% of all college students change their major at least once and 1/3 change several times. 
The problems with these statistics are:  

  • Most students entering college have no way to determine what career(s) would be best for them, either initially or when they change. 
  • As a result the probability of them getting the best majors important to their best careers is very low – essentially zero. 

The result is that these students have little chance of finding a career that they will be especially good at. And even if they stick it out in the wrong career, the potential for them o be happy and extra successful is low. And worse yet, statistics show that about 1/3 of college graduates work at jobs even requiring a degree. The best way to avoid this unfortunate situation is to begin a systematic procedure to find one’s best fitting career(s) when they are juniors or beginning seniors in high school. This can be done using a qualified coach, but generally at a cost of $2,500 or more – and with no guarantee of success. 

A second way is to take key personality and career aptitude tests at a cost of on the order of $200. Two of the best are the Myers-Briggs MBIT personality test and the Assessment.com MAPP career test. When taken and studied together they will give you and your child a good idea of the types of careers that could be good for them. 

Possibly the best way would be spend $10 to buy the Kindle book Career Happiness and Success. The early chapters of this book discuss why happiness and success usually go together and important discusses that tell you how to be successful. Most importantly, Chapter 10.0 provides a detailed pathway for anyone to determine the best one or two careers for them using the MAPP and MBIT tests. A series of spreadsheets are provided to make the process as simple as possible.