To another, it may be achieving a PhD in their respective field of study. And to yet another, it may be to win a gold medal in a sport. The actual definition of success is the “Accomplishment of a goal or purpose”. Everyone has their own idea of success and what it means to them. We live in a culture that stresses the acquisition of material items. Expensive cars, big houses, designer clothing and jewelry are seen by many as the symbol that one has achieved success in his or her life. While there is no wrong in the acquiring or achievement of any of these, they are only outward representations of inner needs and are not truly the mark of success. What is it that each is seeking in life? When people buy things; when they engage in any pursuit, what is it they are really seeking? What do all people of all cultures and backgrounds seek? What motivates each to do, be or accomplish anything in life? It is happiness.
The true sign of success is when one is happy. Happiness does not and cannot come from any item, title, pursuit or person. Happiness only comes from within. Sadly, most people are not happy. What’s worse is they do not even realize this. While happiness is the right of each individual and the reason we seek and pursue so many things, the idea that it must come from here or there is why so many people, constantly, find they are disgusted and defeated. Their search for happiness has led them in every direction, every area and into the lives of many people. They may spend years seeking it in each– only to come up empty-handed and unhappy. We see the signs of societal unhappiness each day. Anger, hostility, prejudice, fear, anxiety, greed, bullyism, insecurity, hatred, envy, jealousy, gossip and discrimination are all clear indicators that people are unhappy. The very thing people do not want is there to greet them each day. And as long as people mistakenly and aimlessly pursue happiness in every direction, they are guaranteed never to find it.
No one will ever find happiness over there. It’s not hiding under here. It is not cloaked behind expensive clothing or sitting in the seat of a Bentley. Happiness is waiting for each and every one of us right here—inside of us. Would you like to know how to tell whether or not you are happy? It’s easy. You will know you are happy when you want to see everyone else in this world; every single human being, happy. Happiness is when you delight seeing everyone around you smiling, achieving, accomplishing, enjoying and living their dreams. For I take pity on anyone who seeks to hurt, bully, steal, manipulate, gossip, mock or treat any human being in any way that is less than perfect kindness. I pity them for I know that they are unhappy. For how could it ever enter into the heart or mind of someone who is happy to ever see
anyone be anything less than they?
Whether it is they who hurt others or they who suffer from fear, understand that none of us can control anyone or anything else. All we can control is ourselves. We can control the thoughts we choose to think. Therein lies the key to happiness. I have found it. My dream is for everyone to do the same. That is my idea of success.
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