Success and Happiness

Freshman (College 1st year) ・English ・MLA ・2 Sources

At first glance, the concepts of happiness and achievement seem to be identical. The two, however, reflect different facets of analyzing culture. Happiness is a sensation, while performance is not. Progress is not needed for happiness since several factors lead to the realization of the situation (Furnham). Furthermore, the circumstances vary according to the person. Success, on the other hand, is a decision of its nature, not an emotion. Choosing one's level of performance is a method of assessing a person and determining whether or not they meet a set of criteria. As a consequence, it is important to consider the distinction between the two points. Happiness results from a sense of personal achievement or accomplishment, bringing about the evident confusion between success and happiness. It feels gratifying and a sense of honor when one achieves a meaningful set goal. For example, during a class test when one sets a particular purpose and surpasses it, an ecstatic feeling result. However, the situation does not culminate to complete fulfillment as maintaining of the expectation brings about considerable pressure and requires constant work to retain the results. Additionally, the goal posts shift, and new expectations realize. The events could wear down an individual creating a state of loneliness. Unfortunately, achievement of goals does not necessarily translate into happiness. Money cannot buy happiness, and beyond a certain level of income, finances stop being a predictor of joy and the overall well-being. From a survey conducted, it was evident that over forty-five percent of high achievers never felt fully satisfied. It is despite the realization of their dreams and goals fueling the question on the exact composition of pure happiness.

The book The Myth of Happiness, suggests that life circumstances contribute only ten percent to one's happiness. Fifty percent comes from the genetic makeup, and the other forty percent is from attitudes, habits, and values. Finances can get an equation to hygiene factor. After basic monetary needs get fulfilled, the additional benefit of money begins diminishing. In analyzing why successful people are not as happy as they should, we first examine the components of real joy. Fulfilling of our basic needs is one of the initial steps. For successful people, the accomplishment of the basic needs is not a challenging task but rather the determination of how to integrate the aspects to realize overall wellness. In examining Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, money can be used to gratify physiological and safety needs but further up the pyramid culminates to its diminishing uses. There could be an argument that having everything brings about confidence however the situation is context specific.

The other aspect that we need in realizing adequate happiness is a sense of connection. It could also get referred to as a sense of belonging. Humans need to enjoy intimacy with at least another being. An analysis examining the happiest people who form a small segment of the populace revealed that they had at least one intimate relationship. Therefore if one strives to be part of the group, luxury does not form part of belongingness.

Resonating with the findings are different reviews that have determined loneliness as the most significant determinant of both psychological and physical ailments. Examples highlighting the thoughts are celebrities such as Bill Cosby. Despite the realization of a high level of success, they still face depression and are not content with their lives. The constant monitoring and societal pressures lead them to engage in unacceptable behavior among other practices. As a result, the illustration highlights the need to more than just recognition and money to fill the empty void in one’s inner being.

The other perception supporting happiness realizes that we are efficacious beings (Lyubomirsky and Diener). It means that we need a mastery of something and we need to feel good at what we do. Autonomy is the other aspect that plays a role in the culmination of pure happiness. People tend to feel a sense of entitlement when they realize that they are not under anyone’s control. That is why we tend to detest situations in which we do not have the adequate freedom to act in addition to exhibiting psychological reactance. It is the tendency to engage in different actions contrary to the expected. Therefore, the desire for autonomy similar to belongingness and mastery is a weird phenomenon evident even in young people.

Successful people in essence lack most of the attributes discussed contrary to what the mass media portrays. The Western viewpoint on happiness and success is to some extent skewed and does not represent actual scenarios. The thought that wealth makes one happy is a misrepresentation evident from the high level of depression among other challenges facing the high achievers. Utmost happiness only manifests when one gets out of their comfort zone. The urge for exploration and curiosity results in the achievement of self-recognition. One can discover the inner self and come up with ways to enhance maximum joy.

In conclusion, happiness and success are two interrelated concepts. Realizing their differences is fundamental in the comprehension of their operation and ultimate determination of how to integrate them.

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Works Cited

Furnham, Adrian. "Happiness and success."People Management in Turbulent Times. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2009. 80-81.

Lyubomirsky, Sonja, Laura King, and Ed Diener. "The benefits of frequent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success?" (2005): 803.

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