Attend to the cause and the effect will change. – Josiah Samuel Harry
One of the most significant paradigm shifts I’ve made in my own life was this: I stopped making success and happiness personal goals for living a fulfilled life.
The reality is that everyone wants to be happy. Everyone wants to be successful. Happiness and success, like other states of well-being, are goals many are taught to pursue—often by any means necessary.
The pursuit of happiness and success has become an important right of passage and has evolved to define one’s social status in this new information age. And any lifestyle that demonstrates socio-economic or cultural inferiority is frowned upon.
As a result, there are those who are willing to go to extreme measures to look the role as to what a happy or successful person is supposed to look like. Some people create the illusion of success and happiness by altering their physical appearances. Others accomplish this by going into debt to obtain high-status artifacts, e.g., fancy homes, luxury vehicles, and expensive clothes and jewelry.
We see this play out time and again where people go from chasing happiness and success to engaging in unhealthy and self-destructive behaviors to impress others while masking their pain, insecurities, and low self-worth.
So what’s the alternative to pursuing happiness and success?
I would put forth that happiness and success in themselves should not be the goal. Happiness happens when you accept your unique growth and development through the lifespan.
You experience happiness when you set your compass on being the best version of you today—without dwelling on the past or worrying about the future—an existence detached from regret, guilt, or fear.
Happiness and success are byproducts of a mind that is awakened, focused, engaged, and others-centered. Happiness and success happen when you are content with your humanity.
So shift your focus from wanting to be happy and successful to being happy and successful. And if you choose to pursue anything, then pursue an existence that seeks to elevate others out of your own love for self.
Since you’re here…
…I wrote a book that explores the ethical and moral consequences of indifference and social intolerance. The aim of Choose Love Not Hate is to spark a national conversation about tolerance, diversity, and inclusion. It would mean the world to me if you ordered a copy of Choose Love Not Hate today. Thank you.