There are a myriad of ways to measure success
While some might say it is measured by dollars in the bank – or by cars, boats, houses or whatever else is in your fleet, there is only one measure of success that I believe applies to all people – happiness. Happiness today is something that is often overlooked, seen as unnecessary, trivial, and deeming it a measure of success might even seem childish to some. But this is simply untrue, wanting to be happy is a natural human instinct and not using it as a measure of your success will only lead to disappointment and burnout. Not to mention, the pursuit of happiness is written in the constitution as one of our inalienable rights. Our forefathers new that happiness was a necessity so why do we today act as if it is a luxury?
This concept didn’t dawn on me until I was having a conversation at a family party – while responding to the usual questions about my courses and plans for the summer and explaining that I had recently changed my major to something else in the business school, a family member said to me “you don’t do anything you don’t want to, I like that.” At first I was a bit taken aback by this, I thought “well, duh” I am not going to spend four years of hard work and an insane amount of money for a degree that will lead to me doing things I am not interested in? But then it dawned on me, that people think like that. People genuinely believe that you have to pick a certain path and stick to it; that completion of task is more important than how happy it makes you.
This interaction was the first time I had ever given real thought to happiness as a measure of success, but since then, it is something that is on my mind quite a bit.
I have come to realize a few things.
I have realized that while happiness is a way to measure success, it is also something we all have the chance to attain. It is not impossible to achieve, it is something that is plausible for all of us. If you figure out what you love to do, set goals, and work hard to achieve them, happiness will follow.
That being said, If you are not doing something that bring you joy, there will inevitably come a time that you realize it is not what you want to, or should, be doing. If you are doing something that brings happiness into your life, although there will be adversity to face at times, there will be a reason to persevere; a reminder that you are doing something for yourself and that is ultimately contributing to your overall wellbeing.
Our level of happiness and therefore our level of success, is up to us.
Are you willing to try new things to find out what it is you love? Are you willing to work hard and take risks? Are you willing to quit your unfulfilling job to pursue your passions?
If so, you are well on your way to happiness.