Life priorities, the hollow nature of success and the path to happiness
A couple of years back, after a long day,
I was travelling towards home from work. As my home was far away from my workplace, my head of department offered to drop me home as he stayed nearby
On the way back home, he said in a light tone “I am the vice president of the company, but this does not make me vice president of the entire country.” This made me realise that positions and ranks are illusive too. No matter how much we rise above in the ranks of an organisation, our success would be limited to only that organisation and not the outside world; Success by nature is constrained to the field it is in.
So then I being a curious new joiner who had just started her career, asked him a very basic question. If you had to rank between the below priorities in order of what matters to you the most, what would that be?
<Power, Respect, Money, Love, Fame>
It stuck me again that the answer to this question would be different for different people, which means that success is relative too. For instance a money minded person would consider success as being extremely rich and a power obsessed person would may be want to be in influential positions in any field. So the money minded person may even after being extremely rich may not be successful enough for someone who values fame the most. But even if we neglect the importance of perception of success by other people, I wonder at what stage would we be able to call ourselves successful. How much is too much!
One would be completely successful once his desire to achieve more doesnt exist anymore which would never be the case. Hence, this proves the fact that the idea of success is a mirage as there are no defined boundaries to it
Also, at the end of the day success is hollow if it doesn’t lead to happiness and happiness is not always preceded by success. It is a state of mind which can be achieved by ordinary “unsuccessful” individuals. Happiness lies in little things and moments of joy. It lies in being at peace with oneself
It is not in chasing an illusive dream, but in cherishing what we have today.
As when we actually achieve what we have been chasing, it either looses its significance or the reason why it was being chased gets changed. This is due to the unpredictable nature of our lives and the possibility of events which are totally out of our control
So while being successful sounds good, success is always illusive and hence hollow. Its significance changes every time we achieve a milestone in life.
However happiness is a sense of fulfilment which is non material and its significance would never change. It creates an aura around us which radiates positivity for those around us; hence it is not only non illusive unlike success but infectious as well
This does not mean that we should choose between the two, this simply means that no matter how difficult our journey to what we perceive of success is, we should never stop being happy. As every journey would be meaningful if every step is enjoyed and every moment cherished
We can be happy with simple things and by creating little moments of joy by:
Helping someone, Spending time with our family, Following our passions, Learning new things, Being ourselves, Sharing smiles and laughter with people
Happiness is a routine, a habit to be formed, and a habit worth forming day by day, every day
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