Success is About Being Happy
My recent hiatus from writing and sharing Secrets to Peace has really taught me about myself and about life in general. Part of the reason I stopped sharing my thoughts was because I felt I needed to focus my energies on finding ways to generate income. With two kids away at college, expenses can easily exceed income, and that prospect tends to suggest that I need to make a larger contribution to our household.
The odd thing is, however, that if I am not being fed, by how I am spending my time to create revenue, I shut down my creative side completely. At age 56 I seem to have reached a point where I can no longer compartmentalize my life. I do not seem able, or perhaps willing is more appropriate, to spend my energies doing something just for a paycheck. I must find enjoyment in the task itself or it feels unworthy of my time.
Not sharing my thoughts and observations has left me feeling as though I abandoned a part of my self. I love writing about my insights and awareness’s. It seems like play when I search for words to describe experiences and musings about things which are often beyond the capabilities I possess for articulation.
This morning I read this quote from Albert Schweitzer : “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” I wholeheartedly agree. What I do is not nearly as important to me as being in the experience of loving what I am doing?”
So, this understanding begs the question, “Can I learn to love the outcome of my labors, enough, to persevere, even if I am not enjoying the work I am choosing as the vehicle to reach the outcome? In other words, is it possible for me to be motivated to stay in a job, just for the pay, when the work I am doing offers no food for my soul? My history seems to indicate that I have never been capable or at least willing to make such a compromise.
Success is a subjective concept. To me, if I love what I am doing, I am successful. At the same time, it can be harder to love what you are doing if collectors are calling or the bank is working to evict you from your home. This is not happening at this point in my life, but I have been there and know from experience that it is hard to “stay the course” when the walls are tumbling around you. Success seems to have another aspect which includes some form of balance. If my premise is correct that success is about being happy, then this happiness needs to extend into all areas of my life: hence the balance.
Despite taking seven months away from writing, in part to explore avenues for increasing my income, I still have perfected no method for achieving that goal. What I have learned, however, is that I must find the time to do that which feeds my soul, first. My perpetual self-discovery has cemented that into my understanding.
My soul must come first. Life is way too short, for me, to follow any other path.
On one of my blogs I recently received two comments which really set me thinking. The writers said that it was only arrogance, my ego based need to feel good about myself, which prompted me to post my opinions on the internet for all to see. I am not really sure what the writer’s intentions were but their remarks really stimulated some introspection. In part, it was these comments that helped fuel my newest commitment to sharing my thoughts.
I do not think I write from a place of arrogance. I do not believe that I have knowledge which is unique and available only through my experience or my understanding. I write because I love to translate the joy I feel, when I am writing, into something I hope is worthy of sharing. Perhaps there is some ego involved in sharing what I write, but I love hearing how my experience is similar or different from yours. I love the dialogue that is often generated between your heart and mine, when I lay myself open by sharing my innermost thoughts.
How I will ever turn this passion into a revenue creator remains a mystery to me, but I have certainly gained new clarity about the importance of feeding my soul by honoring the gifts I have to share. For me, at least today, this aspect of my daily experience is non-negotiable.