Why Happiness Is a Bad Measure of Success
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Health and Wellness

Why Happiness Is a Bad Measure of Success

The failure to achieve happiness should not be interpreted as failure overall.

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Why Happiness Is a Bad Measure of Success
pohlmannmark.deviantart.com

Strive to be happy- that’s what most people would say is their ultimate goal in life. If you are happy then you have succeeded. However, with this mentality comes the inevitable argument that if you are not happy then you have not succeeded, or at least you are not succeeding in that moment. I believe this mentality to be incredibly damaging, because it leads the majority of people to believe that they have not succeeded, that they are somehow not good enough. And when people box themselves in with the label of “failure” (even if it is temporary), it negatively affects their self-image, decreasing their likelihood of being happy, therefore being counterproductive. Hence, I want to propose an alternative mentality. I want to challenge you to strive to appreciate the beauty of life, both the good and the bad, instead of striving for happiness. If you are feeling down, even if you have been feeling down for months or even years, don’t think of yourself as having not succeeded. Appreciate the fact that you are a living, breathing being who experiences complex emotions such as sadness. Aren’t those emotions beautiful? The good, the bad and even the ugly, isn’t it all beautiful in it’s complexity? If you change your mentality from “I am not happy and therefore I am not succeeding” to “I am going to appreciate the beauty in my ability to feel emotion and accept this emotion as a natural but temporary stage in my life”, I believe you will have a much healthier self-image. Because that’s just it, sadness, like happiness, is temporary. As you go through different stages of your life you will inevitably experience varying periods of emotion, some years in your life will just be happier than others, that’s a fact. Therefore I have found myself to feel most successful when I live in the moment. If I appreciate my current state of being, no matter what it is, and stop using happiness as a measurement for my success, I have found myself to be happier as a byproduct. Nobody is arguing that happiness is not satisfactory. The large majority of people would argue that happiness is their most enjoyable state of being. However, I think when you make happiness the measure of your success, you run into trouble. Therefore I challenge you, at least for a day, to not use happiness as your measure for success. Strive to appreciate beauty, strive to live in the moment. I believe it will make you a much happier person in the long run.

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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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