Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Pursuit of Happiness and What Constitutes "Success"

Some people like to over-complicate everything.

"Happiness is a by-product of success."                                     and good pizza

Period. It is not an overcomplicated issue.

So the route to happiness no longer involves happiness itself so much per se, so far as what the heck constitutes "success."

Well, in that regard you are on your own, as is everyone else. We're all individuals just like everyone else. Same difference.

My point is look at HOW MANY DIFFERENT ways there are to define "success"!

For many, especially in America, "money" is the answer. More money, more happy. That works for some, I suppose.

In Europe however, my next door neighbor from Spain opened my eyes when she said "In America you live to work; in Europe we work to live." Nice. I like that. I should have been born in Europe, sigh.

For others it is in attaining a difficult degree, be it Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Engineering, etc. For a large subset of those, it is obtain their doctorate then work in their field, hopefully ending with either tenure or a vice-Presidency. For a smaller subset yet, it's to develop/build/theorize something that changes the world.

For some others, happiness is obtained by taking over the world. Since nobody has done that yet (Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan came closest), going down that road leads to inevitable unhappiness, but, that doesn't stop people from trying.

For others, success means not having to work and getting government checks all your life.

For others still, it means having a nice little home with a white picket fence and healthy children and dogs and cats. They may not be far-reachers, but they are often the happiest of all, IMO and based on my experience. Why, I dunno. Perhaps because their goals are realistic and reachable, thereby satisfiable?

For some it's to have a love life that makes James Bond and Hugh Hefner look like amateurs. Good luck on that one. :)

But for others like me, it comes from knowledge, both the having and the pursuit. To be a lifelong journeyman, without goals, is depressing, so I seek specific, small ones. And that makes me happy. 

When I achieve each small goal, the pursuit revealed newer goals I never knew existed.

And that makes me happy too.

Small steps, Elle, small steps. (We'll get there.)

Steve Colyer

This is not me.
This is. In my dreams.

No comments: