I definitely think that happiness is important, though somewhat over rated, and much more important than financial success. But it's tough to be happy when you can't feed yourself and you're stressed about paying the rent or putting fuel into your car.
An investment property or loads of shares isn’t, to my mind, a very accurate measure of success. It's just added security.
Let's assume we're able to pay the bills, feed ourselves, purchase new gear and travel every year or so. I think that's one measure of success.
So what's missing. Happiness isn't all its cracked up to be. It's illusive and, of course, we can neither know nor appreciate happiness without also experiencing the alternative. And the same is clearly true for love, health, friendship, etc.
What Matters Most
Over recent years I've very much come to the belief that what's important is to live a purpose-driven, meaning-rich and creative life. And we need to do all we can to simplify and de-clutter our lives so that we can focus on purpose and meaning in all we do.
I’ve been sorting and throwing out stuff over recent years, but late December 2016 I determined to reduce the amount of stuff (i.e., clothes, books, CD’s DVD’s, kitchenware, etc) I own down to around 20% of what it was at that time. I’m moving successfully, and with purpose, in the right direction and expect to meet my target, which you should understand is an estimate, by mid year 2017. I’m now at the stage that, when I get rid of things, I can see the benefit in space and an ability to organize and find things when I need them. However, I still have a long way to go.
It’s also a good feeling to be finding a good home for things like DVD’s and books, many of them quality photography books. Most of the clothes and furniture I’m getting rid of go to charity, where I hope they’ll prove useful.
Ideally I want less and, where possible, better things. And in this regard I have decided to choose quality over quantity. But, when quality can’t be afforded, less or even nothing is likely to be the best option.
Mindset And Success
Mindset is the key to success, whether that be in our personal or business lives. And what’s the point of having money if you’re not also happy. That would suggest that a lack of money was not the root cause of that person’s unhappiness.
Stuff happens, some of it unfair and some of it unwanted. We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can control how we perceive what happens to us.
Nelson Mandela taught us that, ultimately, it is a victim that determines what it is to be a victim. It is what it is, but what it actually is is for the individual to determine. Said more simply, we may not be able to determine what happens to us, but we can determine how we feel about what happens to us. And of course, the worse the situation the worse we’re likely to feel today. But it’s how we feel tomorrow and in the days, months and years that follow that matters most.