Have you ever wondered what the best way to go about measuring success is? Is it the number of houses you own? Maybe it’s the number of countries you’ve visited and #jetset to? Is it the number of people you’ve slept with?
For as long as our societies have existed, the most common methods we’ve used for measuring someone’s success have been by using someone’s popularity, their fortune, and/or their physical appearance. However, as widely accepted as these methods may be, are they actually any good at measuring success?
If success is based on someone’s popularity, shouldn’t all famous people be blissfully happy because of their “success”? If it is based on popularity, then how come so many celebrities and renowned figures have died from substance abuse, depression, and crime?
If we look at money as the metric, shouldn’t all of the world’s wealthy people be content? They may have far more money than they can spend, but are they really content? IF your answer is “Yes” then, tell me, why are so many wealthy individuals committing fraud and stealing money from millions of people?
Shouldn’t all of these people who are just about as “successful” as anyone could possibly get be? If we use fame and fortune to define success; all of the world’s wealthiest and most influential people should have perfect lives– but, we know they don’t.
So then, what is the BEST method for measuring success? It all comes down to 1 word.
Read: “10 Ways Rich People Are Worse Off Than You” – Debbie Anderson
While at first glance it may seem like something out of a new age movement that’s lacking real world practicality, using happiness to measure success is actually just as practical as it is effective. We might not be able to measure it on a bar chart like we can with money, but, does that really matter?
If we compare 2 different people of the same age, same ethnic background, practically the same everything else except for their families, friends, address, and the amount of money they earn. If we look at their lives right now, how do we determine which of the two is currently really more successful?
Of these two people, person #1 makes $130,000 a year working 60 hours or more a week in a developed nation. She does this while working a job she absolutely hates but has kept for over 5 years.
The reason? She loves the feeling she gets when she sees the stunned faces that people make when they find out how much money she makes as a single 23 year old with no family. She’s got no priorities other than herself and she loves to spend her money at clubs and splurging on designer clothing for all of her friends.
Of the $130,000 she makes in a year, she spends practically every single penny of it and has absolutely no savings. Despite all of the money she makes and how much she spends on the people around her, she constantly finds herself feeling completely empty and alone. In short, she’s miserable.
Person #2 makes $10,000 a year working those same 60 hours or more a week as person #1, but, she lives in a developing nation. This woman lives in a tiny apartment with her 3 younger siblings. She’s the sole bread winner of the family and takes care of her siblings by feeding them, sending them to school, paying for all of the necessary bills.
Her budget is tighter than a Victorian Era corset but somehow she makes it work. Despite all of the effort and stress she goes through, she’s thankful she has a job that pays her a “decent” amount of money and is happy to earn enough to keep up with her family of 4’s expenses.
Of these two, which would you say is more successful? If we use money to measure success then we could say person #1 is more successful for the simple fact that she earns a lot more than person #2.
Then again, despite all of the money person #1 earns, she still spends almost all of it on things she doesn’t even need. In that case, is there really a big difference between the two?
Regardless of how much more money person #1 makes vs person #2, she’s miserable and doesn’t know why. At the very least, person #2 is happy she can keep her family alive and provide for their needs. In this way, if we use happiness as the measure, person #2 is more successful despite the huge difference in income.
In reality, true happiness is really the only measure for success that one can say applies to everyone.
Everything we do is all in “The Pursuit of Happyness” and I really find no better method for measuring success.
Bear in mind that what I mean by happiness is not mere laughter and good vibes. What I mean by happiness is being entirely and fully content. By happiness I mean that feeling when every inch of your being is seething with an infectious energy that sets you on fire with positive energy.
What greater success is there than having lived a good and happy life?
Watch: “Dalai Lama’s guide to happiness“