Monday, October 24, 2005

Settling

What's better: Being happy or being successful? Can you be one without the other? I wonder sometimes if staying at home would really make me happy. Yes, I'd theoretically have time to do whatever I want but could I be happy without some objectively available standard of success? When you work, you know that even if you hate your job, you have some measure of success. But when work sucks, and puttering around the house seems like heaven on earth, is it really worth it to have that fleeting sense of gratification that comes from being perceived as a productive member of society?

7 comments:

Pedram Keyani said...

In your message you confuse success with the illusion of success. Success should mean that you are happy in doing what you are doing, not that people think you are cool because you make loads of money as a lawyer. People should measure success by their own metrics (i.e. making a difference at work, raising well balanced children, massaging your husband daily, etc.), not by what they think they "should" be measuring against.

Raheleh said...

i'm not confused. i'm using the term success in that particular context.

my whole point is not what people "should" do but what they actually do....

Emily said...

The only way to know the answer to that is to jump off that cliff.

I reflect on this exact question on a daily basis, usually with others who are also "successful" but not necessarily happy at their (law firm) jobs.

Pedram Keyani said...

I'm not sure if I can relate to your experiences. I really like what I do, yeah at times it drives me nuts, but at the end of the day I think I am making a difference.

Do you think any of this comes from your perception of your job?

Emily said...

No perception, just cold, hard reality. Legions of law firm associates can't all be misperceiving their daily lives at work.

Pedram Keyani said...

I know more lawyers than the average person, 7 by my count, and I don't know any of them that have a happy response when I ask them about their work. Why is that?

Dave said...

Rah, no matter what you do, I will always see you as a productive member of society! Do what makes you happy. In the end, that's what's important.

Life is a series of compromises, it sounds like yours may be some a balance between work and puttering around the house or whatever else makes you happy.

For Pedram's sake, I would encourage the daily husband massage as well. ;-)