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A Psychology Expert Interviewed High Achievers About Success and Happiness. Here's What They Said

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How much do you care about your career? The answer is probably: a lot! If you've started your own business, or plan to start one soon, you know how much focus and dedication it takes. If you're trying to make your mark within an existing organization, you know what kind of effort that takes, as well.

You also know how satisfying it feels when all that hard work pays off. You land a big client, or a round of investment, or you get that promotion you've been aiming for. Having other people recognize you're good at what you do makes you proud of yourself and your accomplishments.

But that can be a trap, says Emily Esfahani Smith, an expert in positive psychology and author of The Power of Meaning. In a Quartz article that's gone viral on social media, Smith recalls the many interviews she conducted with people who experienced huge successes. She's learned from them that if your pride in your own achievements is part of your sense of self-worth, you are likely to be headed for trouble. For one thing, if your company fails, or you lose your job, or something else happens to take away that success, your sense of self-worth is going to go with it. But even if nothing bad happens and you stay successful, over time you........

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