Reply To: How important is money/fame to define success and happiness ?

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phoebe # Posted on June 3, 2012 at 3:14 am

Money and fame are widely considered as markers of ‘success’, because we live in a society which values (or at least, has been conditioned to value) such concepts. I think more people accept now that they’re not gateways to happiness, however, and I think the pursuit of happiness is much more elusive than achieving ‘success’. Happiness is an individual, subjective thing, and if the expectations and ‘definitions’ of what WILL make you happy and what WILL make you successful were removed from society, people would be freed greatly (then again, remove nearly any aspect of how society works and people would be more ‘free’, non?).
Happiness and success are completely different, obviously, too. While there is often a correlation, one does not guarantee the other: an individual may find everything they require to be happy living homeless, but may demand more from their life in way of personal success (which could come in the form of recognition of a particular talent, etc). Similarly, someone who has found greatest success in pursuit of their aspirations and goals, may not be happy or content within themselves. I think success is easier to quantify than happiness: money and fame are associated with success because they are what we’ve been conditioned to denote as success. Success is the fulfillment of aspiration, whatever that aspiration may be. Whereas happiness is harder to pinpoint and maybe even capture. I think you find success; happiness finds you.