“Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get” – Ingrid Bergman
Do you often get what you want, but find out you are not happy? For example you found the perfect job but can’t stand your coworkers or you built your dream home in the wrong neighborhood. Success and happiness don’t always go together. Many times in life what we think will make us happy does not and what makes us happy is not what we think. Simply because what our hearts feels is different from what our heads thinks. Also our definition of success is constantly changing as we grow.
Success and failure is really impossible to qualify in one way. For instance; you may fail to get a promotion and this failure pushes you to change jobs and find your personal niche- In this case your failure created happiness. Happiness is instant, you are either happy or you are not. Success is a bit challenging, it’s just not possible to count the success’ of your life while you are in the middle of living, because you don’t know how or what is going to be the result of life’s event and how you are going to react to them. Life is unfinished business-you don’t know ahead what will be a success or failure.
Maybe you have heard the expression, “There is no such thing as failure or success only a result or outcome from which we can learn.” On the road to success and happiness this might seem bleak to you, but from another perspective this is very realistic and liberating. You have little control over how the world responds to your actions. What you consider a failure could be a success and have people making a fuss over you as well as your success could feel like a letdown to yourself and others.
On the other hand happiness can be generated by you despite what is going on around you.
* What does success mean to you in your life?
* What does happiness feel like when you arrive at this success?
* What are the consequences to you and your loved ones, family and friends if you have this vision of success?
* How will you know if you are successful or not?
As you answer the above questions take time to ponder your judgments around success. We create our own suffering by the emotions we attach to our ideas. Is your idea of success and happiness realistic? If you depend on outside circumstances to feel Happiness you are doomed to suffer because the outside world is transient and people can’t always measure up to your expectations. But the good news is you can change your definition of success and happiness anytime.
Today you can decide to be happy as you reassess your life and understand that you are never finished and that is the beauty of living one day at a time. Success and happiness is personal. When you are successful with something, you are happy with the outcome. You may even be thrilled with the results. It can be something that doesn’t take a lot of your time, such as quickly getting a good meal together or something that takes many years, such as completing a graduate degree program. My advice to you is to choose small successes so you are sure to be happy with what you get along the way to the big ones.
Excerpt from “Secrets To Life Book” by Chris Emmanuel
Book available at Chris Emmanuel Art Gallery (Sunbreeze Hotel) and Pages Book Store