Success evolves through constant discovery. It is not a title, but rather, it’s the transforming state of the realization of happiness and satisfaction with choices made and the allowance of excitement for future interests. It is the time of year when the phrase, “Most likely to succeed,” is used as freely as a stamp of approval for a student that has been chosen as the one destined for stardom. It is impracticable to forecast success upon someone else. It is a misconception tied to the idea that success is often seen secured to a monetary amount. It is a Gatsby-like concept where clothing is thrown in the air without a care, champagne sipped without occasion and little importance placed on anyone not within the gaze of the moment. Success is to find joy in life, and happiness is the greatest success.

Happiness is a fair requirement to expect out of life. Too often, success is measured by the amount of things we have and the lack of time for anything not related to earnings. It is as if the less time we have for others, and especially ourselves, the louder the applause and admiration. Success as happiness is not mutually exclusive from earned accolades and prosperity, but rather, it can be part of a whole. The act of choosing what will make you happy and what will make you successful do not have to be two separate things. Income, education and choices in career reflect the material but not necessarily the substantive emotions of fulfillment. It is necessary to understand life choices do affect different variations of lifestyles, but the choice to choose a life that is less reflective of financial success, is not a reflection of level of success. If you are happy in your choices and the life you live because of it, then you are successful.

When traveling on trips as children, my mother would ask us what we missed from home, and without hesitation, we would unfalteringly respond that we did not miss any possessions we had left behind. That simple question was a powerful lesson in life. It was a clear illustration and understanding that material goods are not reflective of happiness. Success is, in part, a beautiful realization that at that moment, you have exactly what you want.

Success is not seen as a narrow ladder to climb above others on, but rather, it’s a forward motion of self-reevaluation, re-prioritizing and resiliency. In certain fields, there is an underlying unlearning of teamwork. There is the injudicious idea that to get ahead of others one must act entirely alone, and individual effort is glorified at the expense of a united team. Success is not in the singular but rather requires support which can facilitate individual accomplishment. We need people around us that believe in our strengths, support our dreams and respect our decisions.

Success requires a presence of desire and the strength to persevere. I have realized that the beautiful irrepressible and instinctive feeling of wanting is the driving force of happiness. It derives from focusing and centering our abilities on obtaining that which we want, that there is joy. Success is a purposeful involvement in the decisions made, a fulfillment of an aspiration and the presence of a resolute confidence in ourselves that there is always the ability to thrive.

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