Are Success and Happiness goals? Can they be pursued?

My 3 and a half-year old has this unique ability of interpreting the mood I am in just by looking at me or even listening to my voice. It may not be a different tone of my voice or a frown on my face but she knows exactly when I am not in the best of my moods. Better yet, she makes it a point to let me know that I am not happy and should be! I immediately get conscious and curl my lips up. She tells me that I am not “really” happy and that’s not a genuine smile. She obviously doesn’t want to see a plastic smile plastered on my face. Who can dodge that? Now, I really smile at her ingenuity and she reciprocates before she prances off to the next thing she wants to do. Amazing, isn’t it? The need for a happy disposition because even children know that’s the only atmosphere they are comfortable in.
In today’s competitive and stress ridden environment, success has become the only ingredient every one is after. No matter what you do, the end goal is to succeed which you may measure as a 4.0 GPA, a promotion on the job, better pay and perks etc depending on what you deem as success. The end goal of how one measures success dictates what one does, all geared to achieve success. Because, we think, achieving success will make us happy, another life goal each one of us pursues.
But, are success and happiness really goals that we need to strive for?
According to one school of thought, happiness is a precursor to success. If you are happy you’ll ultimately succeed. Another school infers that success leads to happiness. You succeed and that will make you happy. In any case, being happy is vital as it has been proven that a happy disposition helps you be more creative, healthy and as a result more productive while an unhappy disposition leads to all sorts of ailments, inhibits your creativity and productivity. Keeping an upbeat attitude has never hurt anyone. In fact, it lets you be more resilient in the face of adversity and difficulties. Every boulder you hit on the way, you are bound to get up, record the lesson and move on to dodge such boulders in the future.
Every person has certain expectations from their life and that is what each of us is out to fulfill. To be clear in thought and action related to these expectations is very important in order to ensure that you are on the path you desire. A plan to work on and working through to actualize this plan are very important. But, it is equally important to enjoy the journey and celebrate each milestone of this journey. This bolsters your conviction that you are on the right track and gives you the much-needed confidence to carry on in pursuit of future milestones.
Success and Happiness are more a part of this journey than end goals. As long as you are passionate and have perseverance, you will enjoy the companionship of success and happiness down your path instead of thirsting to meet them at the end of your journey.  Don’t survive but thrive through your journey with the realization that the end goals you were after are actually in abundance through out your journey!


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