It depends. On your childhood, what is your definition of success. Some parents might ask you to be happy. And others might want a certain grade. Either way, childhood is an easy life compared to adulthood.
All you had to do is go to school, do some crazy things, come home and eat and then play. Repeat it for 20 years for your life.
Kids make an assumption based on the comparison. And derives happiness on weird analogies. They will be happy if something seems precious to them even if that thing is stone. And they won’t play with the remote controlled car.
My childhood was filled with bad experiences from my point of view. But overall my parents told me to focus on the big picture and be happy.
And I followed that philosophy till my graduation years. Hence, I derived happiness from dance, teaching and chatting with friends. Life was great until I grew up and I entered society…
Money, Money & Money
As soon as you start earning money, you feel an independent power. And a beautiful thing happens, you realize how much an adult has to go through to sustain a quality life.
Some are happy in their job, others not so much. But whatever the case, society tells you that you are a failure if you don’t earn ‘X’ amount of money. Or more than your colleagues.
They completely ignore the different skill sets, preferences and motivation. Society will shun you and make you feel inferior if you earn less as per their standard.
The devil controls your brain. You start comparing what your friend earns, shops and the lifestyle they live.
You try to live that way, But you end up taking loans, credit, and worries in the process. Somewhere along the way – you lost the goal to be happy and adopted the goal to be happy only when you have a certain amount of comparative money.
Consider this – if you base your happiness on the fact that how much more you earn compared to someone then you can always find someone who is earning more than you.
It is a cycle of misery you don’t want to be in.
On the contrary, if you are happy with what you have got and hungry for more then you will live a better life.
Maybe you can’t buy that Mercedes. But it doesn’t matter because you are happy with your bike. Of course, you are hungry for better projects, responsibility, and work – if money comes along the way then that’s great.
If you constantly upgrade your lifestyle when your earning goes up then you will be always struggling to see yourself as happy. Because there will be constant stress to earn even more money.
The alternative is to enjoy the stage where you are in. Happiness is a point of view in the present.
Your current scenario and capabilities are something which you dreamed of at some point in history. So rejoice and live that life which you had envisioned. Let the money keep rolling. For every 2 promotion in money, there should be 1 promotion in lifestyle.
This way you will always have a no stress money situation. And since you aren’t comparing it with anyone else, you can focus on being happy now with yourself.
If you want to compare and feel good about yourself then you should do it with your past self.
Look back 2 years and note down the money in bank account, projects taken, travel done and compare it with your present situation. If you are doing it more in quantity or impact then it is a good sign.
Sure, your friend might have done 25 projects. But that’s okay – everyone has different pace and skill sets.
As long as you are doing +1 from your past self, you are fine. And honestly, you should be happy about it.
Happiness is a choice and point of view. It isn’t a destination at which you will arrive. If that was the case, every billionaire and millionaire was supposed to be happy. And every poor person has to be unhappy. But we know better – many times happiness is a choice.
You might have a million dollars in your bank. But if the fear of theft circles your mind, you will be in a constant state of fear.
And unhappiness will knock at your door often. So there is no end game you are playing.
The best way to approach things in life is to have forward momentum, be happy with the success & failures you have got. And stay hungry for more and better projects. Regardless, stay happy because you can. And it is a beautiful feeling.
Now go make something which you want to. Probably better or something new. Be happy most of the time.