Career Guide / Life after College,  Lived Experiences (Opinions)

Society’s definition of success is why you are unhappy

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What’s your definition of success?

Cars?

Houses?

Collecting expensive watches?

A lot of money?

What is it?

And why it is?

Something that I am observing these days is that it is true that money can’t buy happiness. And even those that i think are rich, are so unhappy that they make me question if chasing paper is what will make me feel fulfilled.

From what i see, it’s like we grow up with this idea of success as an end goal, which when we reach we will be most fulfilled, happy and at our best self. That the goal of life is to be successful and that’s it. When we get there, we have achieved it all, we will be happy and have it all.

Only for us to endure hardship, struggles and not enjoy life now, hustling for our way to the top, only to get to the top and realize we don’t feel like we expected we would.

Like success doesn’t give us that feeling. We are still unhappy. Unsatisfied. Sometimes depressed even at the top.

Your definition of success could be the reason you are unhappy.

Or more society’s definition.

Cause we all get it from the society and adopt it as ours.

Again, what is your definition of success?

And how is that influenced by the society’s definition?

Society defines success as expensive outward appearance, money, luxury, power and all that comes in your mind when you think of success.

I define success as fulfillment, internal peace and love (receiving it and giving it).

Something that we need to know is that when it comes to fulfillment and internal peace, external things that we buy do a little or nothing to contribute to that.

And living life without peace, especially internal peace is not living at all.

You will dress outwardly, go places but your soul is not at home inside your own body. You are struggling, suffering, burn out and tired of living.

So maybe money and things shouldn’t be the definition of success, yes we can have them, do work that enable us to have them, but being at peace with yourself, internal peace should be the goal.

You know this will even help us judge each other less, we look down on people who don’t have money, judge ourselves harshly when we don’t have a lot of money and even judge those who have money and put them on a standard or give them respect as if they are God, all because success is defined by an outward appearance.

I believe we are wired differently, and so someone’s definition of success can be different from someone else’s.

But if you are a CEO, earn much and not happy or fulfilled with what you are doing, you are not really successful in my eyes.

I was thinking of this yesterday when i was talking to my mentor, who said, when i compare myself to my coworkers who have cars and a certain living standard, i feel so unsuccessful.

Related : What to do when you are struggling with comparison

I know her life, and in my mind she is living a brave, full of life, happy, fulfilling and loving life.

But when she compares herself to the society’s standard she falls short.

I have nothing against her coworkers but taking a loan to buy a car and a house just because you work now or you are a certain age so as to fit in with the standard or be successful is not really a smart move to me.

Its more like rushing life. And seeking fulfillment in the things and the eyes of adoration from people, which never satisfy.

All I am saying is, I hope we become bold enough to define success in our own terms and focus on our own path, no matter how different it maybe from the society’s.

Eunice?

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Tanzanian, taking life one day at a time and being less judgmental on this amazing journey. I haven't figured out everything in life, and i am okay with that.

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