Success vs Happiness

Stepping stones

Two years go, if you said to me a conversation with my boyfriend would have been the catalyst behind a blog post I would have laughed in your face. This blog was originally launched as an outlet for my cynical, un-romantic, rant infused, single self. How the times have changed…

Last night during my weekly Sunday night breakdown, fuelled by an on-going lack of self worth, my boyfriend Joe showed me something that overturned a thought process that’s been determining my life for as long as I can remember, have a look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGoTmNU_5A0 

The message behind the short video entitled Music & Life is one that completely resonates with me. We are told from an early age by our teachers, parents, guardians, mentors, everyone, to strive for success. It’s drilled into us so much that we believe reaching success is our one goal in life and the one thing that can make us truly happy.

All the messages behind this video got me thinking, how much time in my life do I dedicate to striving for success, and have I ever sat and thought about how unhappy this makes me? Every day, other people’s successes are rammed down our throats they don’t even have to be work related in fact it’s often they’re not. How often do you meet up with your friends and merely wait your turn to brag about how fabulous your life is, or more often how shit it is? It seems we now often compete with our friends over who has the most miserable existence. And when we’ve left our friends we then log onto social media, which is a whole different ball game. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook – are they really digital tools that allow us to connect with friends and family all over the world? No, they’re online platforms that allow you to glamourize your successes, brag to friends, and show off. I’m guilty of it too I assure you! But how often has somebody bought you a wonderful gift or you’ve visited a beautiful city and instead of taking it all in you instead immediately upload an image to Instagram, missing the sheer beauty of that experience whilst you’re deciding which filter makes it look the most fabulous. Then there’s LinkedIn the oracle of unhappiness: This person’s got this new job, and that persons got this promotion, ‘hey, congratulate so and so on reaching one year in their fabulous job you wanted’. Social media is becoming an endless charade of everybody else’s success and its making me unhappy.

It’s a horrible trait of mine to feel jealous instead of happy for that girl from school who has bought a house, yes bought a house at 23. I find myself bitching to myself about friend’s promotions, and their endless holidays instead of thinking ‘you go girl’. I need an intervention, because all of this success is suffocating, and my life seems to be flashing by in a whirlpool of disappointment, jealousy and let-downs. I need to stop letting others set the benchmark for my success and do it in my own time. So I’ve made a choice, and I hope in this post I can inspire others to do so. I’m going to stop viewing my life as a series of stepping-stones to get to the end goal that is ultimately success. Instead I’m going to dive in and take the plunge and stop obsessing on getting to that end goal and instead enjoy the journey.  I will continue to hold true to my hopes and dreams I’m just going to take the pressure off.

I’m fed up of seeing success as such monumental things like a job promotion or financial freedom from my parents; instead I’m going to find success in every day life. Success is all relative, for some it’s an achievement getting out of bed every day and walking. Do you realise how lucky you are to get out of bed each day, to see and hear and be loved? Maybe I’m getting a little deep here but it’s true.  Instead of comparing yourself to everything and everyone try doing one thing each day that makes a positive impact on somebody else’s life. Turn jealously into an emotion that drives you, but remember not to take success at face value, if someone is bragging about their amazing job every day maybe their home life isn’t so great. I’ve come to realise that our personal attributes and the impression we leave on others is what really measures our success. So take the plunge and enjoy the ride of life, for all its ups and downs. Stop being so determined to reach that end goal of ‘success’ and instead focus on making others happy. You know that feeling when you buy a gift for someone they’ve always wanted, imagine if you could bottle that feeling? I find that nothing makes me happier than inspiring others and making their life a better place simply by being in it. Remember: “You’re not rich until you have something that money can’t buy.”

Be happy.

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