My Success Does Not Equal My Happiness

Life is full of ups and downs but at the end we all strive for success. We want to be successful in our love lives, professional lives and here at the College we want to be successful in our academic lives. I spent the past seven years of high school and college convinced that i was doing the right thing by being a straight A student and nothing else. I wish I knew that feeling successful comes from within. I am a senior now, about to graduate with honors and even a few internships on my resume. I seem to have what I always wanted – being an accomplished student. However, I missed out on friendships and experiences. In the end, I have the grades but not the memories. 

Success doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone. People are different – coming from different backgrounds and aspiring to different things. Success can be defined as happiness, pride, growth and achievement. There isn’t a single person in this world who doesn’t want to be successful. The issue with society’s endless struggle in attaining success is that so many people don’t realize what success truly is. When asked, most will answer that success is acquiring wealth, beauty, popularity or power. However, do all of these things really make people happy, or are we all just conditioned into thinking it does?           

We as a society put in a lot of time and effort in order to get what we want, but not as much when it comes to getting what we need. For example, an average individual works long hours to make ends meet, but others go beyond that to make enough money to offer themselves or their loved ones expensive things to fit into a society where everyone seeks approval. The reality is, people need friends, acceptance, love and happiness, but most people are convinced that they will get all that with things, like the newest iPhone, or beauty for example. However, what could truly help is spending more time focusing on becoming better people.  Success starts from within – appreciating what we have and who we are. If one can prioritize needs such as spending time with friends or telling a loved one that they love them, that could attract even more positive energy, productivity and success into their lives. One should determine what their needs are, and make them a priority before going after what they want. Life is much easier that way.

Some might argue that true success is being able to put food on the table, pay bills and work. Some will argue that true success is being able to put a roof over them and their family’s head. To a lot of people, success is something one can see or touch. Some will even argue that true success is only achieved after pain and hard work because that is what life is all about. The truth is, life is what we make of it.

In life, we all have basic necessities. Being financially comfortable is something we cannot afford to ignore. However, what is the point of making a living without any intentions of living life? Even though it isn’t easy to make time for all the simple things that we often need but ignore, everyone needs to keep in mind that the satisfaction that someone gets from looking perfect or being popular, for example, is nothing compared to how it feels knowing that they are beautiful from within or taking time to let the people around know they care.

The main point is, people sometimes base success on the wrong things. People know what success is, but redefine it which sometimes leads to people looking at success from the wrong angle. Success is a way of describing a happy ending. Part of our happy ending is based on things we have to do to survive, but what makes people more apt to being successful, is making time for the things that enable them to survive life smoothly, and give them strength from within. If people let more love in their lives (self-love and love for others), if people make more time for themselves, if people start setting their own standards, making their own rules, defining their own success and creating their own path toward success, then attaining success will be much easier for us all.

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