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Happiness Vs. Success – The True Meaning of Life.

Why is it that even though everyone wants to be happy, many unhappy people worldwide? The real question is —‘Is happiness what we really want or is it something we have been programmed to believe that we want?’

After sitting down and pondering for a while, you realize that the latter is more of the truth, primarily due to our environmental influences.

‘Happily ever after.

A system has taught us that happiness is an ideal state we should constantly live or crave to be. Happiness, just like pride, is a word that we have tried to ‘ascribe to’ or ‘qualify as an emotion. Notwithstanding, the truth is that emotions are far more complex than we can imagine. If there is a word that could speak to what we yearn for, that word would be ‘Joy.’ Intrinsically, we all desire joy; we want to be joyful and our pleasure to be full.

Another word for joy is fulfillment, and fulfillment comes from serving. What do we serve? We serve our gifts unto this world. However, we can only serve after we have first identified our facilities, as then we would not only be in line with our ‘true purposes’ but also be more likely to experience and live in prolonged states of ‘true happiness.

What is True Happiness?

Some schools of thought say there are two kinds of happiness; pleasure and joy. Others say there are three types; Momentary happiness — which is short-lived, like a feeling associated with eating ice cream on a sunny day, Overall happiness — which is a moment in time when you retrospectively evaluate the summations of your emotional experience (both highs and low), and Deep satisfaction — which is also called Joy, Simcha or flow and is the feeling that comes when you are engaged in an activity and essentially lose track of time; in other words, when you are fulfilled by ‘doing what you should be doing.

Happiness is what it is, happiness. Happiness is not joy. They are different in my dictionary. Happiness is momentary, short-lived, and not sustainable. For instance, when you buy a new dress or a new car or pass an exam. Happiness is also a perception based on what and how you have learned to associate emotions with actions. Joy, on the other hand, is a ‘full feeling.’ When you have joy, you feel full, and you are fulfilled. You radiate internally, and you are the one who decides how long you want to remain in this ‘state of joy’ and whether you want your environment or perceptions to switch this feeling to something else.

Joy is when we express our true selves and innate nature, love, which is exactly what we are. I discuss this in Chapter 7 (E-MOTION) of my Ukrainian memoir, AFROLEON.

WORDS Abstract Painting


Before I get over-critical of anything, I always remind myself that it is just a sound or a word, a couple of letters combined in an attempt to convey a concept or express meaning. Words are designed to communicate something, and in the case of ‘success,’ it is ‘an accomplishment of a desired end or purpose.’ Generally, success is about an activity or an event; it cannot be applied to our lives as a whole. We are not here to be ‘successful,’ we are not here to achieve a goal, nor are we here to pass a test. Or are we? We don’t know why? Because we did not set the task.

A better word to apply to our lives is ‘fulfillment,’ which is ‘the achievement of something desired, promised, or predicted. As mentioned earlier, we have a purpose here and abilities to contribute to this world. This is essentially the basis of our existence, and only when we do this do we become fulfilled. In a nutshell, we should focus more on being fulfilled rather than on success.

Instead of viewing our existence or trying to quantify our successes as if we were climbing a ladder or running a race (in other words — in competition with others), we should view success as cause and effect, that is, the impact we have on others and the environment — like a stone that drops in a body of water and spreads numerous waves in all directions.

Summarily, we should focus on letting our true selves emerge from within while positively impacting other people’s lives and the environment, putting our imprints on the world and spreading a wave of joy and fulfillment globally.

The Befibrillator

Adeboye Oluwajuyitan. M.D., MSC Cardiology. Author | Artist | Health Coach. I play the piano in my spare time.