Have you ever stopped for a moment and wonder why we do the things we do? Sometimes when I get anxious and stressed about needing to accomplish something I would take look at the situation and ask myself “why does this even matter?”
After all, in the grand scheme of things we live, we decide for our happiness every step of the way and then.. we die. That’s it.
Now that i’m in my first steps in my journey to adulthood, I have become more aware about the responsibilities that I have and the goals that I need to accomplish, like getting a high-paying job, experiencing my first relationship and many more.
Such goals and responsibilities have always been ingrained in all of us because that’s just how the way things are. We are taught to believe that the way to attain success is attaining such things.
Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with wanting to have a high paying job or a relationship, those things are good in itself. But for me, at least, I sometimes can’t help but ask why those things matter. Does living a good life really require such things? because it sure seems that way.
Growing up, I was always taught by my family that getting good grades will help me land a high-paying job and will therefore secure my future so I became a consistent honor student back in high school and college.
Now that I’ve graduated, i’m still struggling to look for a job. Even without the pandemic, companies pay more attention to your experience rather than your grades. Sure, I was academically successful but it didn’t really fulfill the comfort and happiness that I expected.
In a similar way, our whole lives we are taught how to chase and attain success which made it seem as though only then will we be able to attain happiness. But what if the things that we are led to believe that will help us attain happiness are merely an illusion?
If achieving such success does not necessarily equate or guarantee happiness then why do we pursue it anyway?
Life is sort of a funny thing don’t you think? We are lead by society to believe that such things like money, power, and status make up happiness and so we strive for it consciously and even subconsciously when in reality happiness is subjective.
When I opened up to my aunt about my worries about not reaching success or being financially well off, she told me about how I should first think about the kind of life that I want to live and took herself as an example.
My aunt wasn’t wealthy but she has a stable source of income. She didn’t marry but is now in a healthy relationship in which she was able to experience way past her youth. She achieved her dreams in her late 40s but she is satisfied. Then, she asked me if her life seemed awful.
And it wasn’t. Something about her question struck a chord in me. She lived simply but she was happy, and isn’t that what life is all about?
All this time I have believed and planned on being rich and successful in all aspects of my life but I never really asked myself about the kind of life I wanted to live. My aunt said that I can go through the traditional route where I can study again and pursue a stable high-income job, or I can start building my career now and go from there. Both takes time and can yield different or the same results but how it will go will solely depend on my choices.
It was baffling to me because I never thought that living a simple life can be an option because everyone around me is busy chasing grandeur. People are always talking about hustling and making huge cash in their 20s, and that’s great! But I’ve never considered simple living as great too, because it is.
I guess when it all comes down to it, all of us should get to choose what kind of life will makes us happy, whether that may be being a CEO of your own company or working a 9-5 job, marrying early in life or not getting married at all. It doesn’t have to be a constant pursuit of society’s definition of success because isn’t our own definition of happiness success in itself?
I’m not entirely sure but that’s something I have yet to find out.
Hello everyone! This is kind of a word vomit post but I hope you guys enjoyed it.
I am actually very curious about your thoughts and perspective on this. What do you think about success and happiness? Do you agree with me or disagree? Let me know!