In this week’s spotlight I want to discuss the notion of success. What exactly is success to you? Webster defines success this way, “The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” Well then, according to Webster success is no more nor no less than what an individual decides when they set a goal and achieve it.
Many people today generally think of success in terms of financial rewards. Oh, we all recognize the success of a young athlete who wins a ball game, or a child who overcomes their fear of sleeping alone, and so forth, but we hang on to the idea that adult success is measured by financial gain.
I recently spoke to a young man about his own opinion of success. He had done well in school, graduating with honors. His work with the elderly had been recognized but upon graduating, he found that in this Covid environment, he could not find work. In his mind, he had failed. He had student loans and no money to buy groceries let alone make payments on his debt. He was forced to move home and live with his parents. When I asked him what the most rewarding thing in his life had been, after some hesitation, he admitted that it was volunteering aid to help out with senior citizens unable to care for themselves.
Do What You Love
There is a saying in business and life, “do what you love and the money will follow.” I’m not about to say this adage is a truism, but what I will say is this, when you do what you want, and do it well, you are experiencing success. Think about that for a moment.
If music is your passion, but you earn your living filling orders at some local short-order house, you may dislike your employment but when you sit down to play your music, if you perform your best you are satisfied and happy. Happy! Let me stress that—for happiness is success.
Everyone’s ultimate goal in life is to be happy. You can have all the money, or power, or good looks, or what have you, and still be unhappy. It stands to reason that if we all seek happiness, then we find success in being happy.
Are You Happy?
When people tell me they are successful, I always ask, “Are you happy?” In my mind, if your primary goal is happiness, seek it first. Now that doesn’t mean goof off and play away your time for that will not produce long term happiness. No, if the guitar is your passion, you will need hours and hours of work and practice before you could ever claim to have done your best. If you desire to have a family and live in a nice neighborhood and put your children through college, then you will have to sacrifice some in order to reach your goal. That said, as long as we are focused on what we seek most in order to be happy, we will find happiness.
My point, if you seek success, seek happiness first. As Albert Schweitzer put it, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
Thanks for the read,
Provocative Enlightenment Radio
NY Time Bestselling Author of Choices and Illusion