How to be successful – in life

by caroanna

Success. Career. Money.

Not trying to sound like an anti-capitalist hippie, this is what our society seems to focus on. By society, I mean Western society because that’s what I grew up in. We are judged often by where we work, how much we earn, what we’ve accomplished materially.

Material success is desired, admired and envied.

Where did this come from? After all, human beings were born to survive, procreate and be with each other. How come we’ve put money before more admirable values like friendship, family and happiness?

Of course, not everyone thinks like that. We still cherish our family and know how important it is to spend time relaxing and talking with friends. But that is not what is admired. We don’t go up to other people and say, “Wow, you really like what you do! I envy that!” Instead, we would say, “Wow, you earn six-digits!” and “You’ve just been promoted! Good for you!”

I’ve recently decided to distance myself from this attitude. Who cares how much I earn or what position I have? No one else than me, because I’m the one who has to do the work. If management or finances was what people love, then they should pursue that to be happy.

But doing a job because it has prestige or makes you wealthy is not worth it.

After all, we spent most of our day working or commuting to work. Why wouldn’t we want to do something we truly enjoy? For more money, so we can spend it on things that won’t make up for a crappy job or a stressful life? Re-evaluate what is really important to you. If it’s difficult, ask yourself: When I’m lying on my deathbed and look back on my life, did I enjoy it and accomplish something I really cared about? Or had I rather done something else? If you’d rather done something else, it’s not too late. Do it now and enjoy what you have.

“A man can spend his whole life never learning the simple lesson that he has only one life and that if he fails to do what he wants with it, nobody else really cares.” (Louis Auchincloss)


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