Saturday, October 4, 2008

Happiness & Success – A Chicken-Egg Phenomenon?

Often a question arises in my mind about the relationship between success and happiness. Whether success leads to happiness in life or it's the other way round, means, happiness gives success in one's life. It's a debatable issue and one can have views on either side.

First, let's see what success means in one's life. Most of us would certainly agree that success doesn't mean just to earn lot of money. What I feel success means to obtain things that society values, it can be wealth, good job, happy married life, close and well knit family, sincere friends or longevity or/and may be 'peace' in day to day life. It can be different combination according to one's ambitions or desires to achieve in his or her life.

One the other hand happiness is the sum total of one's well-being or feel-good factor at given point of time. Happiness also depends on general atmosphere about one's family or organization where he or she works/lives, or even city/nation where one resides. There are many prescriptions for happiness as being advocated. However, I feel that 3 things are very important for leading a happy and purposeful life. First, one must live and enjoy present moments of life by de-inking oneself from past memories specially the negative ones and to minimize future's anxieties. Second, involve passions in whatever one does even during day to day activities and also try to engage oneself with doing something when one feels happy and passionate. Lastly, maintain good physical and mental health.

If we see on international front, Indians are the fourth happiest race in the world, as claimed by The Economist. The reason behind such a high of happiness level has been that India, despite all the advances, remains a deeply philosophical society, as commented by noted sociologist Prateek Das. Rather than material goods, Indians have deep faith in time-held traditions and they have less desire for material goods. This is the reason that in developed nations, most people's desires for material and luxury goods are fully saturated so now look for alternate avenues for happiness.

Coming back to the relationship between success and happiness, according to the latest findings, happiness is the key to one's success in life. The reason is that happy and cheerful people are more likely to try new things and challenge themselves, which reinforces positive emotion and leads to success in work, good relationships and better health. The findings further claim that happiness extend across an entire nation with people in 'happy' nations being more likely to have pro-democratic attitudes and keenness to help others. One other study corroborates that happiness leads people to be more sociable and generous, more productive at work, to make more money and to have stronger immune systems. So, we can say that happiness is the key to many treasures, including the one which is carrying 'success'.

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