What is important in life? Success or happiness?

I was asked this answer on Quora a few days ago. I could have written the answer in one word, but then I chose to frame a better answer, for everyone’s understanding, so that they not only read my answer considering it to be my personal opinion, but also understand it and apply it in their lives. Here is my answer from that question:

(In case you wish to read my answer on Quora, here it is: Should one be successful or happy?)

Here is the complete answer:

  1. Mr A has billions of dollars. But he cries every night as he’s unhappy. What’s the point of earning a billion dollars then?
  2. Mr B is the most famous person of the world. But he cries every night as he’s unhappy. What’s the point of having a huge fan base then?
  3. Mr C is most renowned artist of the world. But he cries every night as he’s unhappy as well! What’s the point of being renowned then?

Is there anything common in the three people? Yes – the amazing, tremendous success! One is a billionaire, the other has a huge fan base as he’s so famous, and the third is the most renowned artist. All three of them are highly successful in their fields. But, there’s another thing that’s common, and that is – their unhappiness, which is there even after their success.

  1. Mr D is very happy, he is a small farmer earning enough to feed himself and his family – but he sings songs, dances and sleeps peacefully each night. In his and his village’s eyes, he’s successful!
  2. Mr E is very happy. He is a small IT-employee who jumps to joy when he sees a small increment in his paycheck every year! In his and his family’s eyes – he’s successful!
  3. Mr F is very happy. He’s a dabbawalla, for whom the sole purpose of his life is feeding people! His work gives him happiness. In his eyes – he is successful!

Mr A, B, C, D, E and F – they all die one day. Now they all are resting in 7X3 coffin – different lives lived above ground, yet same after death beneath ground!

The definition of success is different for everyone. For some, even earning 1 million per minute is failure, and for some, earning 6 lacs per year is tremendous success! It is ultimately your choice – what is success for you? And have you been able to achieve it while being happy? If you have to sacrifice your happiness for your success, sorry – that is not success, that is failure! Because you are successful only “for the world to see” and not for yourself. And why are you so keen on impressing the world, who won’t be walking the face of this planet after one thousand years anymore? We all are replaceable, and we all will be replaced. Every man who is walking the Earth today, will not be here after one hundred years. Isn’t it enough of a reality-check that we should prioritize things in our lives correctly now?

Success can’t guarantee happiness. But happiness can guarantee success!

One Life…