How do you define success?

So you want to be successful, eh?

Money doesn’t make people happy. People make people happy.

Well, how do you do that? You might go to college. Even grad school. Maybe start a business. Invent something. Train to be an athlete. And so on…

But why would you do all these things before you’ve defined success?

Yes, that’s right, you haven’t figured out why you are taking the time and effort to do all these things in the first place. What will all your hard work get you?

To be successful is to be happy

Most people think success is defined by money, material objects or status. It’s not.

Think about it…What is the relationship between money and happiness? Money, in and of itself, has little to do with happiness; the correlations we see in developed countries are quite small. There seems to be some baseline level of security (i.e. avoiding poverty) that that will impact happiness. But outside of that, money (and excessive money) doesn’t seem to play a large role in happiness.

Furthermore, nothing about money inherently seems to be related to happiness: Absolute changes in money have less to do with happiness than where one ranks within their local field. Then there’s the Easterlin paradox – chew on that one.

So, why do people chase money? Because they think it will lead to happiness.

But if you want money to make you happy, why don’t you just focus on things that will make you happy from the get-go? And no, this doesn’t mean accruing money, it means doing stuff that makes you happy.

The only reason why money has become synonymous with success is because people have a warped perception of how it relates to happiness. Ultimately, people want to be happy. Success, then, isn’t about money. Success is about happiness. And a successful life is a happy life.

More of a bad thing isn’t a good thing

Many people forget why they started doing something in the first place. After a while, they are making money just to make money, and they can’t even remember why they started making money in the first place. What good is that?

This doesn’t only pertain to money, but to anything that involves time and effort. It might be money. It might also be recognition in a certain field. Or winning something competitive. Whatever it is, if what you are doing doesn’t make you happy, doing more of it won’t make you happier.

This is the Disease of More.

More money.

More cars.

More degrees.

More awards.

More titles.

For what? What good is all of this if it doesn’t make you happy?

You might think that such things in life define success, but they don’t. They are a perversion of success, and they are distracting you from being truly successful. They are distracting you from being happy.

 

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2 Responses to How do you define success?

  1. Pingback: Happiness Levels » Taylored Life

  2. Pingback: Ministers of Happiness | Taylored Life

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