What is the worthier lifelong goal: to be happy or to be successful?

This depends on how you define success and how you define happiness. If success is making money for the sake of money, you will never have enough. This insatiable need will keep you from being at peace. If success is doing what you love, it will bring you peace and that will contribute to a deeper happiness.

If happiness is the shallow type that comes from being able to buy expensive items to satisfy your desires, again, you will never have enough. You won’t find peace. If happiness is the result of being close to your family and friends and the satisfaction you get from helping others, this is a deeper happiness that will bring you peace. This is a form of success.

Imagine yourself in the future, lying on your death bed. What will you be thinking about? Would you wish that you had worked longer hours? Would you wish that you had made more money? Would you wish that you had bought that expensive car?

Or will you be thinking about the good times you had with family members and friends? The people you didn’t get a chance to say I love you to? The people you mistreated? Would you regret spending too much time chasing after material rewards and not spending enough time with your family?

Most people wouldn’t be thinking they should have worked more, earned more or bought more. They would be thinking about friends and family. This is what they value deep in their hearts.

If success and happiness are rooted in your deepest, most heart-felt values then they are both worth pursuing.

©2016 Stephen L. Martin

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