Happiness vs Success: Chicken or Egg

When it comes to the Happiness vs Success debate I’ve been a massive fan of Dr Rangan Chatterjee, best known for his TV show Doctor In The House and resident GP on BBC Breakfast, for many years.

I love his philosophy for life, which talks about the intrinsic link between HAPPINESS and HEALTH…“When we are healthier, we are happier because when we feel better, we live more”
Rangan takes a holistic, 360 degree approach to his work as a GP. His goal is to empower his patients to become the architect of their own health & wellbeing by focusing on his 4 Pillar Plan – Food, Movement, Sleep & Relaxation

He talks about these 4 pillars leading to a happier and more fulfilling life. Like Rangan, I too believe that HAPPINESS is the key that unlocks the door to living a LIFE on PURPOSE, depending of course on what you define as HAPPINESS, right?

Because there is so often confusion between HAPPINESS and SUCCESS – that old chicken & egg scenario. Ingrid Bergman said “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get” which would suggest the two are in fact, intrinsically linked.

Yet, in today’s society where our culture seems to be all about profit and earnings, we’ve attributed happiness as the product of success, measuring our lives by the level of our achievements, the amount of cash in the bank and the goals we’ve achieved. However, success is not (and never has been) a reflection of happiness but rather, the other way round, wouldn’t you agree?

If it were true, that success led to happiness, then surely every rich, accomplished, famous, top-dog CEO &/or fortuned person on the planet would be the happiest people we know, right!?

Yet we all know, or know of, so-called ‘successful’ people – those high-flyers with the big bank balances; the holiday homes; the ones who take those multiple heaven-on-earth holidays each year; those with the fancy 2 or 3 cars on the drive or with the several acres of land amidst their 10 bedroom mansions in leafy suburbia – who are actually very UNHAPPY or at very least, appear so.

I read a fascinating article by American journalist, Lauren Martin of Elite Daily recently, which I think just about sums up the differences between SUCCESS & HAPPINESS and also proves the point Dr Rangan Chatterjee makes in his latest book Happy Mind, Happy Life (which I highly recommend, btw) when he quotes “Happiness is always an inside job.”  Here’s what Ms Martin had to say on the HAPPINESS VS SUCCESS debate….
“Happiness will be there when success is gone, when it’s been subtracted from the equation.
Happiness will be there when all else fails, when the answers don’t align and your numbers don’t match up.
Happiness is the only answer there is because success is something that should only come when you are doing what you love, not the other way around.
It’s the end product of following your passions, because success may seem like the goal, but happiness is the way there.
Success is all the money in the world; happiness is having people to spend it on.
Success is measurable; happiness is limitless.
Success is a fancy car; happiness is a great ride.
Success is working hard; happiness is loving the work.
Success is the race; happiness is the finish line.
Success is earned, happiness is achieved.
Success is money in the bank; happiness can’t be deposited.
Success is private jets; happiness is flying high.
Success is never easy; happiness will never feel difficult.
Success is money; happiness is value.
Success is sacrifice; happiness is plentiful.
Success is late hours; happiness is all day.
Success is second homes; happiness is always home.
Success is material things; happiness is in the materials.
Success is pursuing your dreams; happiness is living your dreams.
Success is reaching the top; happiness has no ceiling.
Success is doing what you love; happiness is loving what you do.
Success is pursued; happiness is acquired.
Success is calculated; happiness doesn’t need a cheat sheet.
Success is envied; happiness is shared.
Success is perfection; happiness is embracing the imperfections.
Success is going the distance; happiness is enjoying the destination”.

Thank you Lauren – I couldn’t agree more and I’m sure Dr Chatterjee feels the same!

A final thought….
“Happiness is like jam – you can’t spread even a little without getting some on yourself”

Until next time, take care and keep FIT 😊

Hello... I'm Marie Cross

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