In most work environments success is defined in several ways, including the accomplishment of business goals, working for a big name organization, amassing substantial wealth, obtaining job promotions, receiving honors, enjoying material luxuries, and so on.
Most of these triumphs, in the modern global society we live in, are individual in nature and often consummated in a stressful scenario of competition.
To be clear, competitive success can be good when it genuinely challenges us to be better persons improving our professional growth, but not when it becomes a self-inflicted pressure with the whole purpose of outshining our neighbors and colleagues.
Just as success can be a part (I repeat, just a part) of our happiness, it can also contribute to our unhappiness if we don’t understand what to make of it.
Putting too much emphasis upon competitive success can be detrimental and can leave us emotionally empty if we cannot find what value it gives to our lives.
Work that is poisoned by a false sense of competition can lead to envy, where instead of deriving pleasure from what you have, it derives pain from what others have. Don’t fall into this trap; avoid such superficial comparisons that can blind you to see how truly fortunate you are in life.
But, what is success really? The meaning of success for me could be completely different than yours. And that is perfectly fine.
When you widen your mind and your interests, when you listen to your heart and your true self, and when you put the things you care about and the people that truly matter to you in the right place in your life, you will be closer to defining your success. It doesn’t have to be something complex.
In fact, success for me is as simple as achieving life balance, where all the key ingredients of life contributing to our happiness receive equal importance in their own time.
When it comes to professional life, the quality of the work I do and the positive impact it has in contributing to the betterment of society are very important to me in measuring success. I have never been attracted to a good paying job whose responsibilities are essentially trivial for humanity.
No matter what profession you may have, you can find a way for it to be successfully rewarding while achieving excellence and meaning. And with it, happiness.