How Do You Mea­sure Suc­cess?

Danielle Pinkus ex­plores what be­ing good at life means in 2014.

CLEO (Malaysia) - - YOUR LIFE, YOUR RULES! -

These days, the no­tion of suc­cess seems less about money and more about reach­ing hap­pi­ness. The tricky part is that things that equal hap­pi­ness to­day, won’t nec­es­sar­ily cut it to­mor­row, hence we find our­selves want­ing to be hap­pier than be­fore, and than the next per­son.

The Bro­ken Lad­der

For a long time, the ideal model for “the good life” went a lit­tle like this: Uni to good job, mar­riage to fam­ily and se­cure ca­reer, then re­tire­ment. Fast-for­ward to 2014: Suc­cess is now steer­ing away from tra­di­tional job se­cu­rity and big salaries, and head­ing to­wards get­ting the most out of life. So­cial re­searcher Neer Korn (theko­rn­group.com.au) says reach­ing the top of the ca­reer lad­der is no longer a goal like it was in the 80s be­cause the sac­ri­fice was too high. The rea­son was two-fold, Korn ex­plains. The eco­nomic fun po­lice came to town in the 90s af­ter the big-time spend­ing of the 80s. Bud­gets were cut and em­ploy­ees re­alised that they were dis­pens­able and started tak­ing con­trol of their ca­reers by start­ing small businesses.

This founded the dot com revo­lu­tion. As a re­sult se­cure ca­reer and ace cor­po­rate perks fell out of fash­ion as suc­cess in­di­ca­tors were re­placed by do­ing some­thing you cared about and work­ing on your own terms. En­ter: The hap­pi­ness model.

Buzz­word: Hap­pi­ness

There’s only one rule to this new-wave of suc­cess: You can have it all as long as you go out and get it yourself. The upside to this is that it all comes down to a per­son as­sess­ing their own life in or­der to im­prove it and ul­ti­mately feel con­tent.

Murky Wa­ters

Sounds like we have it pretty damn sweet, right? Well, kinda. Ac­cord­ing to Korn, “[Some people think that] hap­pi­ness is an un­re­al­is­tic goal and one of the many emo­tions people need to be con­tent with.”

So­cial me­dia plays a mas­sive part in why we’re hooked on think­ing in terms of more when it comes to reach­ing a happy sta­tus. With one scroll of our feed, we can go from feel­ing like we’re killing it at life to won­der­ing why we missed the memo. Korn says, “It’s an ob­ses­sion where people por­tray an ideal self rather than the re­al­ity of life.” This can be dan­ger­ous in the self-es­teem depart­ment be­cause while we have var­ied def­i­ni­tions of what it means to be happy, it can cer­tainly be tempt­ing to buy into other people’s dreams. So it seems we can’t help but envy a co-worker’s snap of their awe­some wardrobe or feel a pinch of heart pain af­ter see­ing yet an­other “We’re en­gaged” on Face­book. The truth is, there’s a bit of ego in hav­ing fun and be­ing uber busy. It can feel like we’re all com­pet­ing to see who’s got it more to­gether. All of a sud­den, hap­pi­ness seems a lot like hard work.

Re­ward Yourself

What­ever it is you’re work­ing to­wards, it can feel like there isn’t time to give yourself a high-five be­fore push­ing ahead, guns blaz­ing. “For some, get­ting out of bed will be a suc­cess. For oth­ers, it’s a turnover of RM1 mil­lion,” says Brewer. “It’s im­por­tant to cel­e­brate and praise yourself for the small steps along the way.” Cue a happy dance like no­body’s watch­ing.

Lit­tle Suc­cesses (That To­tally Count)

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