SUCCESS IS ENDEMIC TO OUR NATURE
Updated: Feb 7
Success is part of our life plans. We pursue and strive for success because success is quite literally in our heads. Since childhood we go through the early years of our lives always hearing we must be successful to have a good life and be happy. Since we all want to be happy, we chase success like the dangling carrot on a stick lured by the thinking that happiness lies on the other side of success.
It is fair to say our ultimate goal in life is happiness. Yet we chase success first as our entry-ticket to happiness. The idea that we must pursue success for happiness is taught to us since childhood by our parents, teachers and peers.
I grew up in the 60’s when life was much simpler. Success was equally simple. Not easy, but simple. Success equated to achieving academic success and graduating with a higher degree of education, landing a dream job or starting a business, making money, buying a house and getting married, having kids and starting a family and live ‘happily ever after’.
People grew up with these ‘milestones’ enshrined in their psyche and in their life plans and when they achieve these milestones, they feel positive and fulfilled as they are ‘trained’ to recognised these milestones or series of successes as visible progress and stepping stones towards a happy life.
Entire generations subscribed to the same dogma in search of happiness. A set of ‘rules’ no one questioned, an established opinion and a core belief held to be true. Success was measured by your level of formal education and the profession or business you were in which determined the level of your income (and security) and as a result your status in the community. It was a reflection of your success in life.
While it is a different world today and success is perceived differently, to a certain degree these ‘milestones’ still apply today. However, in a more ‘complicated’ world success is more complicated. Today many of us want more, we want ‘personal’ success and to feel ‘accomplished’ and everyone wants to learn the keys to success. We want to feel fulfilled and have a happy, healthy life, enjoy a career, achieve financial independence and importantly ‘contribute’ and leave a positive impression in the world. To make a difference in the world, to be significant, to have a positive impact on those around us. Everyone wants to do something meaningful and ultimately leave a legacy.
The vast majority continues to strive for success on the basis of the illusion that happiness is a by-product of success with success itself being on the other side of the more ‘traditional’ milestones. The environment we grow up in and our society as we progress in life teaches us to chase many ‘externals’ such as success, wealth, fame, power, good looks, romantic love and more. But are they really the keys to happiness?
Al relevant research says no, at least when it comes to long-term happiness. A great job, a prestigious award, a big raise, an exciting new relationship, a fancy new car, losing weight, etc., these things can make us feel great at first, but the thrill doesn’t last very long. We quickly adapt to new circumstances, a quality that has helped us survive and thrive but it also means new circumstances soon become our new normal and we return to chasing a new dangling carrot on a stick once again lured by the thinking that happiness is on the other side of the new circumstances we are chasing.
We have not learnt and we continue in search of happiness chasing it via the possession of the ‘externals’ society trains us to chase.
Time of course has a habit of revealing reality and despite achieving these milestones or acquiring all the external possessions we want true happiness eludes many. Many find themselves trapped in the web of this illusion living in circumstances that do not fulfill them personally or in their jobs or business or in their relationships. For many chasing happiness down the route of success happiness remains out of reach and as life passes them by and find themselves loaded with the responsibility of a family, bills, mortgage debt, etc., they give up on their pursuit and settle in mediocrity living a life of quiet desperation.
While there’s a very slow ‘awakening’ that we may have the formula for happiness wrong and success may not be quite the ‘happy-making’ solution commonly believed, the illusion that the recipe for happiness is via external possessions remains. This was the common belief when I was growing up in a much simpler world and it remains the most common belief in a much more complicated world today.
While it is fair to say our ultimate goal in life is long-lasting happiness, in my experience I have yet to meet anyone who’s goal in life is to be happy yet not experiencing the fulfilment of tasting success in life, whatever success means to them. Neither have I met anyone who’s goal is to achieve success in life yet not be happy.
What becomes obvious then and it is my conclusion that happiness AND success are closely interlinked and therefore it is also fair to say while in theory our ultimate goal is happiness, in reality it is the complete “package” of happiness and success that is sought by everyone.
What do you think? Did this post resonate with you? What is your experience? Let me know in the comments.
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You might also enjoy my next posts coming up.
Next Post – How do we get the “package” of happiness and success?
This is my personal blog through which I enjoy sharing my knowledge and ideas with the online community. I have an engineering background, I am a professional network marketer, presenter, public speaker and coach yet I see my greater role as an influential educator who enjoys writing. I am driven by my passion for freedom, learning and teaching (sharing knowledge) and helping people ‘upgrade’ their mindset and attitude towards achieving success in life and in business. I believe through correct education, people can be coached and guided through a process of increased knowledge and increased competence and confidence that will empower them to take action to achieve their personal and financial goals and live life on their terms.