What is the Difference Between Success and Happiness?

In one personal development seminar I’ve attended, our trainer asked us one by one, to define and differentiatesuccess and happiness.

If I were to ask you the same question,
What will you answer?
Success _________________.
Happiness _______________.
Note: Take a couple of minutes to reflect and answer. And then once your ready with an answer, go back to this post.

People have different definition of success and happiness. However, most likely your answers belongs in these four (4) categories:
1. Happiness = Success
2. Happiness Success
4. Happiness + Success
Personally, upon hearing such question, I wondered if it isn’t the same.

If you were like me, you’d gauge success to mean like happiness, and happiness to mean like success. For how can you differentiate the two when they go hand in hand?

Oftentimes, we define happiness as being successful, wherein the way to be happy is upon reaching the success of whatever goal or endeavor we take in life. We delay happiness and perceive it as an end result of achieving our goals.

However, unlike fairy tales and novels, where happiness is in the end of the story, real happiness does not come at the end of our story or life. Happiness knocks in our door everyday. But it seems most of us ignore it because we are locked with the thought that happiness is in the end of our journey, only after we achieve all the goals that we want, acquire the wealth that we aspire or found the perfect love we’ve always dream of. Unless we acquire all those ideals that we want to have, we find happiness as a dream that will come in the future.

But later on in my journey to life, I’ve learned that,
Happiness is not an end but a journey.
People who values happiness over success are those who lives in simplicity or often called mediocre or average.

They care less about success and achieving their goals for they value contentment of what they have now. They dream less and get a lot of happiness in simple things.

If we are living in a perfect and easy world, I would love to belong in this group because of the contentment and simplicity of life they lived in. However, in an imperfect world full of chaos and crisis just like ours, living in a complete contentment without goal results to a big mess and hardship.

Oftentimes, those who stop seeking for success and lives in mediocre ends up being manipulated, used or slaved by other people.

Gratitude is a great attribute anybody can have, however, too much can lead you to an aimless life. A life that just passes by that leaves out no mark and contribution.
After every one of us has answered the trainer’s question, he gave his answer.

Success is having what you want. Happiness is having contentment in what you have.

Upon hearing the answer, I thought to myself, “Being successful and happy is not a bad idea.” But how can you have both?

Like a light bulb in the head, the answer struck me a few minutes later.

The best way to live life is by setting your goals for the future without neglecting to live now and having the grateful attitude for all the blessings you have in your life at the moment.

2 thoughts on “What is the Difference Between Success and Happiness?

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