Success Is Misinterpreted
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Success Is Misinterpreted

Fun fact: materialism doesn't equate to happiness.

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Success Is Misinterpreted
Amazon Awes

No matter the examples set, the sights that are seen, and the evidence that is so clearly shown to us on a daily basis- people still believe that you will find happiness in “comfortable living”; you will find happiness in your wealth and success and money. That idea is a lie perpetuated by the media and our predecessors. No matter how fat your bank account, how many jet skis or flat screen TV’s you might waste your “success” on—you can never buy your happiness. Happiness isn’t tangible; you can’t buy love, or fear, or satisfaction—you only buy things that arouse those emotions. You can buy drugs, alcohol, and sex, all of which you stuff yourself full of to make you ‘happy’ or ‘satisfied’… but it doesn’t mean that you are actually getting or feeling those true emotions. Is it not a problem when you sleep with prostitutes every night? Is it not a problem when you drink your worries away? Is it not a problem that we buy things to find “happiness”? When you purchase these things, you are getting placebos for the real emotions- real satisfaction, real love, real happiness… all of these things that you can only feel when you allow them to be felt, alone or with a companion.

Sure, people find happiness in stereos and phones… but isn’t happiness just a momentary side effect? Sure, I’m overcome with happiness and excitement at the arrival of my drawing tablet… but soon, the happiness subsides and the novelty wears off… yep, I’m fortunate to have this and all.. but it’s just a drawing tablet. I’m thankful, do not get me wrong-- but material things don’t exist to bring you happiness. You exist to bring you happiness. With that drawing tablet, I will create art which makes my heart happy and my soul sing… but the tablet itself doesn’t do that… I do that. I am the one creating something-- emphasis on creating because no matter the tools used or outcome of it, creating something fills me with joy. Giving to people fills me with joy. Possessions don’t bring joy. Experiences and people bring joy.

I believe that Americans are so caught up in the pursuit of what they idolize as happiness (money and material items) that they completely throw away the purpose of life. So often people don’t do what they love because they fear they won’t be able to travel to distant countries and mingle with strangers, they won’t be able to buy a fancy car, won’t be able to support their families on the assumed small income of their passions, or won’t have stuff to impress people with. We waste all our time on chasing the idea of being rich so much so that we forget its definition: plentiful and abundant. Why are we so quick to connect plentiful or abundant to MONEY and POSSESSIONS? Why do we mold our future selves into people with an abundance of money or people with plentiful amounts of personal belongings? Why are we not people with an abundance of happiness or people with plentiful amounts of joy?

Yes I am aware people are happy because they love pursuing money, they love its smell and meaning and payoff- but I can assure you that not every one of the six billion people on this planet share that passion. We all share the same drive—security for ourselves and our posterity in terms of the necessities of life (food, water, shelter, and love). We take up every chance we can to secure this and we are unfortunately taught since our earliest years that success and security equates to wealth, and that wealth equates to happiness. What if we were taught to pursue our dreams, and in the process of doing what we love, we would become masters of our trade, and surely someone would give you money for that?

“But money leads to experiences, and experiences lead to happiness.”

Have you ever heard of bartering? It’s an exchange between two or more people that doesn’t necessarily involve money. Maybe you would provide a day’s labor on a ranch for a hot dinner, a few cold beers, a place to stay for the night, and 60 years’ worth of life experiences from your host. You could do a few favors from a local in the Tropics and get a private tour to an awesome waterfall or lake. The opportunities are endless if you get creative. Sure, it would be way easier to spend the money you earned working day after day at a job (that you hopefully love)- the money would prove to be useful in easing your experiences.

I’m not saying that we should live a completely moneyless life, quit your day job that supports your college education, or barter your soul for every experience; I’m just saying that happiness is completely obtainable without an obsession over worldly possessions. Work hard doing something you love, perhaps that will bring you happiness and success. Work a job you don’t necessarily enjoy and spend that money doing something that you

do enjoy. Above all, question what it is to be happy and successful in American society today. Never sacrifice true happiness for the artificial kind.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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