They told me that if I find success, I will be happy. And some told me that life is all about happiness and enjoyment.
I disagree with both.
You can achieve so much and still feel hollow from inside. In the same way, you can feel happy and still perform unhealthy or destructive activities. It may also lead to being settled or ignorant of your capabilities.
Success is about achieving more. Happiness is about being content with what you have.
If you desire less, you suffer less. Thus, you become happier.
If you desire more, you suffer more. But, you may become more successful.
So which one should you choose?
You can choose both.
We all suffer in one way or another. But the question is — What are you willing to suffer for?
The problem is that most people desire too many things at one time.
The more things you desire, the more you have to suffer.
So, what’s the solution?
Desire less, but desire strong.
We go about desiring things all day long and then wondering why we’re unhappy. So, I like to stay aware of that because then I can choose my desires very carefully. I try not to have more than one big desire in my life at any given time, and I also recognize that as the axis of my suffering. I realize that that’s where I’ve chosen to be unhappy. — Naval Ravikant
When we desire a lot, we may remain unsatisfied with life.
The reason is that no matter what we achieve, we still have unmet needs which will stop us from giving ourselves permission to be happy. So, we stay unfulfilled and unhappy.
Even if you have a huge bucket list of things you want to do before dying, focus only on checking a few items first instead of trying to do all at once.
Pick your priorities and desires carefully and then let them be the source of your suffering.
Borrow happiness from the appreciation of what you’ve already achieved and then desire a few things strongly.
Once you get what you want, take the time to appreciate and move on to your next achievement.
Kill Regrets Before Death
Regrets can either come from desiring too many things or not having the courage to follow your inner voice.
What do you enjoy doing?
What are you willing to struggle for?
What sacrifices are you willing to make?
How do you want to be remembered?
These are the key questions you must answer to avoid the biggest regrets in life.
Don’t chase what success means to other people. Define what success means to you.
Take the time to define your values, core desire, deeper purpose and a vision.
When your daily actions reflect who you are and what you want to become, you will feel calm and fulfilled. And once you achieve your goals, you will feel immense joy and gratitude.
After success, you have to realign and check with yourself if you’re moving in the right direction.
Misalignment with yourself keeps you unhappy even after achieving your goals.
Integrity keeps you happy on the path of success.
Your decisions and action must be aligned with your values. The moment you betray your values, you will feel unsatisfied.
Alternatives To Success and Happiness
Instead of chasing success, chase growth. And instead of chasing happiness, chase peace.
Being on a path of continuous growth and passion helps you live a meaningful life.
Don’t tie your happiness with your goals. Pursue goals for continuous growth, not for a set destination.
Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. — Benjamin Franklin
While suffering, you may not find success or happiness. But you can always find growth and peace in any situation.
The combination of growth and peace leads to a life of fulfilment.
So, don’t settle. Change the things you don’t like about your life but also accept the things you can’t change.
Success may involve comparison with others whereas growth is about the comparison with your past self. Happiness is just a state of mind whereas peace is a way of living.
People think delaying gratification for future success is to delay happiness. But it’s not true.
The act of delaying gratification can become joyful if you treat it such way. When you’re intrinsically motivated, the struggle becomes the joy.
Keep pushing your boundaries and take the time to appreciate your growth.
Stay curious about how much you can grow and learn. (Hint: There is no limit)
It’s a rat race where beautiful moments are forgotten and the present is based on misery. It leads to burnout and then we may find unhealthy ways to make ourselves feel better.
It’s a walk towards the top of the mountain. You can look back to appreciate your achievement. You can feel the beauty in the present moment. You keep moving forward. You stay focused on your vision. Here, you intentionally make time for rest, relaxation and recovery.
On this pursuit, success tastes much better than achieving success on a hedonic treadmill. And after achieving success, what do you do? — You appreciate and move forward.
Skip the hedonic treadmill, go on a trek instead.
Suffering is inevitable, and it’s important for success. Misery is when you suffer for the wrong reasons.
Suffer for the right reasons and enjoy the pursuit of growth and peace. Success and happiness will come along.
Remain grateful and strive for what truly matters to you.
Looking for more alternatives to happiness and success?
Read: There’s more to life than happiness and success (3 min.)
Want To Succeed Every Day?
Design your daily success checklist for high performance and success. Click here to download the free PDF file.