Success and happiness are not often thought to co-exist in today’s society. As people work harder to accomplish more successful careers and more expensive toys, they find themselves unhappy with their lives. This is largely due to imbalance. People are spending entirely too much time working to be successful and not nearly enough time with family and stopping to smell the roses. These poor habits began in the nineties, and are being passed down to the next generation. But as young people, you can start planning now to have both success and happiness in your life as you grow older.
The first step toward achieving both success and happiness is to determine your definition of successful. Is it a certain type of career, a certain pay level, or the ability to have certain expensive items? The answers will be different for everyone, so this is definitely something that you should evaluate on your own, or with someone that knows and understands you and your core values. If you have not done so yet, now is also the time to evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, skills, talents, and interests to begin choosing a career path.
Your next step toward achieving both success and happiness is to determine what makes you happy, or what will make you happy in the future. Is family of great importance to you? Do you want to get married and have children in the future (or the present)? Is not needing to worry about money and bills enough to make you happy, or do you need less substantial methods of happiness such as a good support system and time with friends? Again, answers will be different for everyone.
Once you have an understanding of your core values, you will be better able to create a plan that will give you both success and happiness. When you start choosing a career, you will need to take into consideration what you need for happiness rather than simply focusing on success. If family and time with friends is important to you, you may want to choose a less demanding career that will likely have set work hours. If this is not as important to you as helping others, then a career in law or medicine might be more feasible.
Once you have determined your career path, you will need to set a series of smaller goals that, when completed, will lead you to your ultimate goal of success and happiness. When you set these goals, you should not simply focus on how fast you can get to your final goal of success. If you work extra hard and get to your career goal within a few years, but you lose all of your friends and values in the process, you will not have success and happiness. But, if you take your goals in stride, allowing for plenty of time for yourself and your loved ones, you will find yourself in a much happier disposition as you reach your success goals.