Happiness or Success? Which One Should You Choose?
The other day I listened to a podcast entitled, Dreams and Drive and came across an episode about how a young man, Craig Young a.k.a The Cheap God, began living an unconventional life at the age of thirty.
On April 1, 2018, Craig Young quit his job, sold all of his possessions and pursued a life of travel. He currently lives in Bali, Indonesia. Young was willing to disrupt his conventional life in hopes of finding happiness. He said he couldn’t see himself sitting in a cubicle doing office work for the rest of his life, the mere thought of it was depressing for Young.
The story of Craig Young selling all he had and revolving his world around travel got me thinking about life in general. He chose happiness and actively pursued it. When you think about happiness, generally you think about all the things that bring joy to your everyday life. Happiness could be different things to different people. Success on the other hand could mean maintaining a stable life, making lots of money, having a profitable career, etc.
It is often inferred that you must choose between the two and that you can’t have both happiness and success, but I think you can. I say this because success looks different to different people just like happiness does. Everyone may not define success as a great job, lots of money, big house or luxury cars. Success to some may be meaningful relationships with people they love, longevity of life or autonomy in their careers.
Young is a prime example of someone who chose both happiness and success for his life. He stated that he’s perfectly fine travelling from city to city and having all his possessions fit in one suitcase. He’s happy travelling the world, experiencing new cultures and not being limited to working eight hours a day in a cubicle. The life Young is living is happy and successful, according to his standards.
Although happiness and success are defined in different ways by different people, there seems to be a pretty clear consensus of what happiness is not. Happiness is not dedicating all of your time and energy to an occupation you hate; this truth is what makes Young’s story so inspiring. Instead of settling for the monotony of a corporate work life and being unhappy, he actually took action to create a different life for himself.
I think many of us think happiness and success go hand-in-hand and that we can’t indulge in both, but this is a myth. We have to be absolutely sure of what happiness and success is to us. Once we have this figured out, we can take action to include the things that bring us happiness and success simultaneously.
Craig Young isn’t the only one taking strides to create a meaningful life for himself. We hear stories similar to his all the time about how people create their own happiness by choosing to live an unconventional life. People quit their jobs and become missionaries, start their own businesses or go back to school in pursuit of different careers. It’s not about choosing between happiness or success, it’s about determining what each one means to you and forming a life for yourself that includes them both.