"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success."
So many times we are driven by success. So many people look at success to be the indicator whether or not a person has made something with their life. But it should be the other way around. We should not measure the success of a person, but indeed their happiness. Why are we so drawn to success? Why do we commend others who achieve so much rather than those who are focused on their own happiness?
Success to many means money. As we know money rules the world. It's money that controls our government and our society. So with that in mind it is easy to see how we can be so foolish as to measure success as happiness. We applaud the person who owns the business, who lives in the fancy house with shiny cars. But is this person really happy? Deep down? Is this person content with themselves and life? Or are they consumed with the almighty dollar? Let's hope that most of these people are happy with the results of their hard work. But how many are really searching? Are they searching for happiness and the true meaning? What makes a person happy?
For instance, take Asian culture into account. Why are they so concerned with perfectionism? Success. Success. Succuss. The Asian population is know for its meticulous perfectionism when it comes to everything. They expect so much from each other, and tend to put a lot of pressure on their children. The suicide rate is an alarming reality for many. There are those who kill themselves because they simply have not met up to the high expectations from others! They feel they aren't good enough, or they haven't done enough. It's sad. It's sad to think that a person really felt that way. Could you imagine? It's wrong to put expectations on others. And its wrong to want everyone to be the same. We are all unique individuals, and only we can tell ourselves what our true dreams and desires are. We have no one to live up to except ourselves. We make our own standards.
I myself had to come to a realization. When I was in high school, all the teachers and counselors were so concerned with helping the kids choose "the right path" for their education. I remember them questioning me and prompting me to make a decision about my future. I told them I wasn't for sure what I wanted to be. Well, they pretty much insisted that I had to figure it out so that I could choose a college and prepare myself for the upcoming future. So they would have the students take these career workshops so they could analyse our skills and give us suggestions as to what we may be good at. Of course nothing really sounded good to me. But the counselors would not give up. "You must pick something. You must make up your mind already. How come you don't know?" So after looking at numbers of different careers and being pressured by the adults I made a decision. And do you know what my decision was based on? The salary of the job description. At the time I didn't have a dream career, and with everyone wanting me to go to college to get a "good job," I simply gave in and decided I was going to be a Cooperate Administrator because the salary was so high. I figured I couldn't go wrong with that. Surely, everyone would be pleased. Everyone but me that is. I went to college, and I had a difficult time with some of my classes. I only went for two years before I dropped out. And in that time I changed my major three times. Unsatisfied with my choices and still undecided on what to choose for a career I dropped out after running out of money.
So what is the lesson here? Well, I think it is pretty obvious that we need to make our own decisions based on what will make us truly happy. See at the time I allowed myself to fall into line as to what others expected of me. My parents, my school, my society, they all expected me to go to college. But deep down, I still don't feel that is something for me. I don't believe it was the right choice for what truly makes me happy. It just wasn't me. I remember thinking, well I want to be a housewife with kids. Is that so bad? That is what I felt would make me happy. And that is what I do today, and I am happier now than I've ever been. Even to this day some people think of my choice as surprising. Some people find it strange that I actually want to stay home with my son instead of choosing to work. "Don't you want more money?" Umm...No. Is money really the answer to everything? Why is the focus on money? I don't need more money. Why, so I can buy more materialistic things? So someone else can raise my child? Is that really what is important in life? The money? There is no amount of money that is worth the time that I spend with my son. Children grow up fast, and soon he will be in school. Soon he will want nothing to do with me, and will have his own friends and interests. I am so thankful for the time that have with him. I am doing what I love, being a house wife. I love taking care of my husband and I love keeping up with the house and cooking for our family. To me, that is what is important. My focus is on my family. Happiness is not based on success, but happiness is our key to success.
What is your definition of success? What makes you happy? We should do what makes us feel good. What do I choose for my own life? These are the questions we should be asking ourselves, and only we know the answers. Now it is up to us to make it happen. Choose that path that is right for you. Do what makes you happy. And be your own judge to success. Remember happiness is the key to success.