What is important, success or happiness?

By Josh Okello.

As is with any debate, there are always antagonists and protagonists, those against an idea and those who hold it firm and do not want to lose it. And this week’s topic of discussion is, what is important, happiness or success.

Some of the debates, comments and answers I got from twitter over this topic were that success and happiness are complimentary. This might be true but contrary to my beliefs. In my opinion, a continuous pursuit of happiness is more important than a strong desire to succeed. What is it that you find joy in and you value so much that you never get bored doing over and over again?

How many people do we know who were once successful, (however your definition of success is) but today are going through tough life challenges? So is success all that is?  For what is a man who has not been taught what to do with success after attaining it? These achievements can lead to frustrations and boredom of the highest calibre.

The dictionary definition of success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.  While happiness on is defined as a mental and emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Is it therefore good to be happy or successful?

Albert Einstein a theoretical physicist once said, “Try not to become a man of success, but rather a man of value.” (Wisdom quotes app). If what makes you happy is creating value either in your life or in other people’s, then you are headed in the right direction.  It is very rare to be successful without failing, does that mean that we have to quit after a few attempts? If we make pursuit of happiness our ultimate goal, then no matter how many failures we go through, we will still be able to rejoice knowing that there is that one moment when we will succeed and it does not stop at success.

Success is always considered greatest by those who never succeed. For any moment you attain a prize, you will realize that there is more to be done to maintain that rank. After all why would Olympians try to break their own records? Usain bolt the fasted human being a live on the surface of earth keeps working hard towards beating his own record. Why? Because all he needs is happiness not success.  He has already been successful by breaking world records. It does not only stop at being the best.

A purposeful living consists of incessant desire of happiness that can only be attained through hard work. Just as Benjamin Franklin, a scientist and a writer once said, “Happiness consists more in small conveniences of pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune, that happen but seldom.”  (Wisdom quotes app).

Happiness therefore, underwrites a greater drive of all beings. The entire purpose and end of human’s actuality should be planted in happiness.

© Joshua Okello 2014.

Joshua Okello is a B.A graduate in Business Administration, International Development and Philosophy. He is also the author of the book Strategies of Entrepreneurial Leadership He has exceptional skills in organizing, coordinating projects and capacity building initiatives with key emphasis on livelihood programs; microfinance through savings and credit led models; business development services and entrepreneurial leadership. He is also the founder and Executive Director of Succeed Africa Relief Organization, a Canadian Christian Organization geared towards giving hope and transformation in lives of the chronically poor in Africa.

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