Are you successful and happy? It is common to find a person going after success. And that is good. But the thinking is usually that happiness comes after success. Which isn’t very true as you may agree with me.

As much as you can be both successful and happy, it takes effort to achieve both. So you don’t end up successful but not happy. You will be exposed to why you need to go after what makes you happy and not necessarily successful. 

Here is the story of a Pastor

He was a man who had decided to commit fully to the work of the Lord. This man was poor. Very poor. But he found solace in his profession as a minister of the gospel. And swore to make it in life solely through serving the Lord and mankind. 

When he began his task, it was going well. Until he realized his limitation as a result of his material scarcity. So he began to speak to the Lord about it. He said, “Lord if only you would give me a shoe. I would walk to the ends of the earth just to preach your word”. He went out to preach to one wealthy family who offered to give him a gift. Lo and behold, it was a pair of very nice comfortable shoes. Our evangelist friend was pleased to the core. He renewed his vows to the lord to stay committed to his word and service of him. 

It didn’t take more than a month, our evangelist friend took to asking the lord another favour. His petition this time had to do with how that he was incapable of doing much in the week because of stress and a bad place of sleep. And so this time around he asked the lord for a mattress. And sure enough, his request was answered. The mattress came through! And guess what he did next?

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He asked for more things! You are right! He asked for a wardrobe, then a car, then a position in society, he just went on and on. The more he got, the more he asked. 

Being Successful Versus Being Happy

Now I will tell you how this story ends in a moment. But before I do that…Do you see where this is going? While you may see where I am going with this story (or not), can you resonate with a lesson in there?

This man was simply not content with what he had going. While he was successfully getting results, there was always a need to be fulfilled. When we talk of success, we must understand that it is not complete if it does not end in happiness. 

Success alone creates room for unfulfilled lust, but the success that results in happiness creates room for contentment. The end result of every effort must be happiness, not just the success of it. Take a closer look and you will realize that success is secondary to a man’s happiness. It is much preferred to be successful and happy than to be successful and not happy. In all you do, in all you invest, you must keep in mind that your end goal is to be happy and not just successful.

Are You Successful?

The pursuit of success, as abstract as the phenomenon sounds, has frustrated many people. This is because of a couple of factors which include:

  1. Having the wrong perspective on what success is
  2. Identifying what is worth celebrating
  3. Going through the wrong procedures and channels to attain success. 

While we have established that happiness is the end goal, and also that success is the journey to that goal, this brings to bear that the manner in which we take this journey of achieving success goes a long way to determine if we will ultimately be happy or not. 

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If we are going to have happiness as the icing on the cake of our success, we must be ready to understand the demands of the journey and abide accordingly.

When our evangelist friend made that decision to pursue the kind of career he felt drawn to, taking his time to understand the process involved in that journey would have brought him to appreciate the place of virtues such as sacrifice, patience, selflessness, among others. 

Understand what Success Means for you

For in not understanding the demands of one’s success journey, you tend to ply a route that results in manifesting a kind of success that is filled with pain, murmurings and friction. Now this evangelist would have his time spilt between praying for the salvation of souls and making sure his needs are met, of which the latter will eventually overtake the former-as is the way of those who lack focus. 

To have the kind of success that will bring you happiness, you must consider such key factors as diligence, empathy, kindness, hard work, planning, prioritization, just to mention a few.

Now you see, it is a terrible thing to be successful in the wrong venture! And yes, there is such a thing as the wrong venture, and there is such a thing as being successful in the wrong thing. And these take us far away from true happiness and even worse, creates a false sense of happiness in us. Success in itself always comes with a trickle of joy, but true success comes with it an outburst of internally-generated and self-sustaining happiness. And so I will ask you right now…

Are You Happy? 

Or wait. I will do you one better; Will you be happy with yourself after you have achieved that goal? Can you or do you look at your finished product and have that feeling of satisfaction churning in your very being? Or do you just look at that accomplished goal, or object of success and go like “Meh, it’s alright. 

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What’s next?” When a man’s success brings him happiness, he constantly visits that place, object or essence of his success and continually has a desire to improve upon it or make it better. This is because the moment your success registers joy and a positive feeling in your brain, you want to repeat that which made you feel that way! And so you will revisit that success and look for a way to make it better to improve upon your happiness. 

And so a happy success will stimulate productivity and ingenuity. A lifeless success will become a stale and stagnant reference stuck in the annals of history; this is the reason why many marriages are failing; that is why businesses are collapsing; this is why that artiste is not heard of anymore. 

This is all simply because they were successful in manning up to their goals, but they forgot to carry along the tickets of the happiness that comes with. And so the moment they got there, they started looking for something else, because they found that was not where their happiness lied. 

So What If I Am Successful But Not Happy?

And when you have done this, what is the consequence? You would have wasted a lot of time already. Resources and energy would have been wasted by then and you would put the people around you in jeopardy and mistrust of your next big idea because you’d be known for pursuing things that do not reflect your ultimate passion and strengths.

Are You Happily Successful?

And so now, back to our evangelist friend. Legend has it he is currently asking for a planet, with a new crop of people to evangelize to, because those of us here are simply too corrupt to change. Ridiculous? Well, that’s exactly what you exude when you chase success at the expense of your happiness. So, once again, between the questions “Are you successful?” and “Are you happy?” Which one would you give priority to right now? Did I win the bet?

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