By Anubhav Srivastava ( Register for his Workshop – Build Super Confidence For Super Success!)
Albert Schweitzer said ” Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.” Guess what he is right, and in this article you will learn why.
Let’s reflect on that quote for a moment. How often have been bombarded with the idea that happiness requires achievement. How often have we been made to believe that we will only be happy when we have a certain amount of money in the bank. We will only be happy when we have the right partner, when we have the house of our choice, the car of our choice, when we have acquired all the material possessions that we wanted.
We are also bombarded with the idea that we should sacrifice whatever little happiness we may have in the moment along with our health in order to work so hard that it makes us miserable, because when we get that fat bank balance or that car or something else, then we will be happier. This idea itself is ridiculous because even when you get a momentary HIGH out of some accomplishment ask anyone and they will tell you that over time it stops making a difference and if you have at your core picked up habits that make you miserable, even when you become rich you will be a rich miserable person with a life no better that of someone with less possessions, maybe worse.
Why we have resigned to the idea of a miserable life
We have been brainwashed into believing that the meaning of life is a rat race where happiness is a reward waiting at the end. And quite often the society, including our parents and other relatives are to blame for it. How are you going to be happy? When you study extremely hard and get into a great college later, you will be happy and successful.
Well what do you do when you get into that great college and don’t seem all that happy? Well you better work hard in college and keep your grades up so that you get your dream job and then you’ll be happy! Well when you get your dream job and are making money but miserable you are supposed to get married because then you will finally have a “happy stable life”. Finally even after marriage, when life is still a chore and now you are supposed to do everything for your kids, you keep wondering, hey where’s my happiness? I am still not happy, in fact I am miserable! It is then that society tells you it was fooling you all along. It tells you “Suck it up, the meaning of life is to do what we tell you you should do, not to be happy!”
Society doesn’t accept that happiness is the key to success, to them here is the definition of success: You do what you are meant to do as a pawn in the world and make some money doing it then die and make way for other pawns. Now if you make an animal buy into this stupid rule, its understandable. What is not is how a so called higher being such as a human can ever accept that his or her fate is just to be a pawn leading a meaningless life. no matter how highly paid that pawn is. If you have the slightest ability to think consciously you will eventually realize that just doing what society asks you to do is no success at all if it deprives you of happiness. In fact it means your life has been a total failure.
The true meaning of life
John Lennon, the lead singer of the legendary band The Beatles, was once asked as a child in school what he would like to be when he grew up. Every other kid listed the things they wanted to become. The only thing John Lennon wrote was “Happy”. The teacher told Lennon that he didn’t understand the question. Lennon in turn told the teacher that the teacher didn’t understand life.
How profound are these words and how true are they for our daily lives! We all think that the meaning of life is to achieve success by becoming something regardless of whether or not it makes you happy. While becoming something if it makes you happy is good, becoming something just for the sake “becoming” is stupid and mindless. If you are not happy leading the kind of life you are then you are not successful.
To people who have a high confidence level and can see beyond society’s definition of life, the rat race is not nearly as important as it is for anyone else. They don’t correlate their self worth with their net worth. They don’t care whether they have society’s approval. what matters the most to them is how they feel about their lives and the direction they have chosen.
Who is Successful And Who isn’t?
If you don’t make much money and are not successful in the eyes of the society, but you are someone truly happy doing what you are doing (as long as it is not criminal) you are successful. If you are someone who makes a lot of money and is successful in the eyes of the society and you are GENUINELY happy doing what you are doing, you too are successful
The people who are not successful are the ones that regardless of the money they have (or they lack of it) are leading a life dictated by society even if it means being miserable. They want to do something that make them happy but are too afraid to do it because they are terrified of others judging them. These people may be seen as successful in the eyes of others and even responsible members of the society but they are never successful in their own eyes. They lead their lives with desperation and yearning, waiting to break out and do something that makes them fulfilled. But they won’t because they have been brainwashed enough to make them believe that they are destined to be pawns and nothing else, even if they are pawns with money. If they try to do anything beyond being a pawn, society laughs at them, discourages them and quickly brings them back to where they were.
Do you find yourself trapped in this sort of a scenario? Don’t worry, you are not destined to live a life you hate if you are committed to truly doing something about it.
How You Can Truly Change Your Life For Good
The number one reason why people don’t do things that make them happy is not because they are afraid of being judged by the society, it is that they are afraid of taking the leap and being WRONG. But to be right you have to take the risk of being wrong. So be ready to embrace the unknown. Understand that when you set out on the path to doing what makes you happy, things will be tough, things will be uncertain and you will face failure. But that is the price you have to pay for leading a life you want. No growth ever takes place if you are unwilling to move beyond your comfort zone.
In this situation it is useful to do a small little exercise. Imagine yourself looking into the future coming to the end of your life leading the life you already have. Then compare it with coming to an end while leading a life that you want to lead even if you are only mildly successful. But even in failure you manage to get some sense of peace when you could never get while doing what you are doing currently. Compare the two scenarios, which one is full of regret? If the regret is higher in the second scenario keep doing what you are doing and lead the safe life even if you are miserable. If the regret seems higher in the first scenario, you know it is time to take the leap.
Life is too short to worry about others. They will judge you even in your current life while you are still doing what society wants you to do. So if you are being judged anyway while you are miserable, why are you afraid of being judged while doing something that actually makes you happy?! Living the life you want to live doesn’t doesn’t mean you will never face frustration, but you will find a degree of peace even during that frustration. Something you could never find with your current life.
When you live a miserable life that society wants you to live, you will dread waking up in the morning and going to work. When you live it on your own terms you will wake up feeling charged and ready to embrace the joy and take on the challenges this new life brings you. When you live the life you are living, you will thank god that it’s Friday when Friday arrives. When you live a life you want to live, you will thank God for each and every day. What kind of you wish to live is now a decision that is yours and yours alone. Make your choice!
About the Author
The author of this article, Anubhav Srivastava is an author, motivational speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields, who teach the viewers how they too can make all of their dreams come true. The movie itself has been seen on Youtube by close to 800,000 people. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Rediff.com, Leicester Mercury and many others.
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