Success is one thing, but happiness is another thing. Working for a living is one thing, but living meaningfully and being happy in what you is another thing.
I’d like to posit two key points for this piece: 1) that success is relative, and 2) that happiness is worthier or more significant than success.
First, that success is relative hinges on the established truth that it is apportioned to everyone according to their specific situations, talents, and struggles. One’s present state or situation may be a past or future for another, or one’s “here” may be a “there” for others. But, nevertheless, it can be fairly said that each one, having been endowed by God with individual gifts, is entitled with a relative degree of success.
That indeed success is relative is best illustrated by the following examples:
1. You may not have a 6-digit salary, but your needs are reasonably met – that is success.
2. Your house may not be as big and plushy, but you’re able to live peacefully and sleep soundly at night – that is an accomplishment.
3. You may not have a glamorous social stature, but you have the luxury of time enjoying your privacy and personal peace – that is priceless and undoubtedly rewarding.
4. You may not have a master’s or doctoral degree, but you are decently educated in the school of life by treating everyone fairly and with respect – that’s more than an academic degree worth earning.
5. You may not be in a powerful political office, but in your own way you serve and help others – that is genuine service, and success as well.
On the second point, happiness is more significant than success. If beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, happiness lies in the heart of the rejoicer.
Success is one thing, but happiness is another thing. Working for a living is one thing, but living meaningfully and being happy in what you is another thing. What is success if you don’t find meaning or significance in yourself and in what you’re doing. What is wealth if you disregard your health? What is having lucrative “positions and possessions” if your relationships are broken?
These beautiful lines, shared to me by a friend, are spot on:
“We become successful by what we get, but we become happy by what we give. Don’t get the two confused. Too many people are working hard on things they don’t love, to spend money they don’t have, buy things they don’t need, or to impress people they don’t like. Don’t trade your happiness for what you think you need. If only we could make a little less but spend more time on what we love, wouldn’t that make us happier?”
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