We’re led to believe that successful people are the ones who have it all. They earn high salaries, own big houses, have a million Instagram followers and holiday in 5 star hotels. But what about happiness? Where does that sit on the list of requirements we need to be successful? Happiness is assumed to happen as a result of having more. We all think we’d be happier if we could just win the lottery, yet there are plenty of miserable millionaires out there. I’ve even met a few.
I had a good job in HR, I hated it. It didn’t suit my personality and I got bullied. When I quit, I had no other job lined up. I talked my husband into letting me join his financial management business and for so long, I felt like I had failed. I’d given up and I didn’t earn as much money or have a career of my own, none of which are considered successful by millennial standards.
Decluttering my life gave me the headspace I needed to realise what success really meant to me – it was happiness. This definitely didn’t come from the salary I earned spending 37.5 hours a week in a job I couldn’t stand, no matter how much it paid. Happiness didn’t come from all the stuff I bought with that hard earned salary either. It turns out, buying less is actually the easiest way to boost your earnings.
It finally dawned on me that I hadn’t failed by quitting. I’d prioritised my happiness and been brave enough to take control of my life. I’d talked someone into giving me a great opportunity and now I was working for a business I believed in. I could strategise to my hearts content, work from home without anybody breathing down my neck and have all the freedom my old job never gave me. For an INTJ like me, this is the perfect job.
Perhaps success isn’t what we’re all led to believe it is. Perhaps, it’s something much more unique to each of us and actually comes from filling our lives with what makes us truly happy, whatever that may be. On closer inspection, what makes us happy and therefore successful might not be what we thought it was.
What does success mean to you and where does happiness sit on your list of requirements?