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Success Or Happiness?

He heard the knock and answered the door.
“We have come to take you,” they said.
“I’m not ready. I have so much to do – spend time with my family, go on those holidays I promised them. I want to go to the children’s plays and watch them in action. And then I want to be able to paint and have fun like I planned. Please give me more time.”
“You were given 40 years, a loving wife, two beautiful children. What stopped you spending time with them over the past 15 years?”
“I had to make CEO first.” (100 words)

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.
– Jim Rohn



He saw them tentatively enter the gallery. Shocked, he wondered what they were doing here. One part of him was worried that they might make a scene, another was so proud that they’d come. He held back while he saw them looking at the paintings, taking in the crowd, and yes, even looking proud. They began to furtively look around for him. Unable to resist any longer, he went to them and was enveloped in a warm three-way hug. “We’re so proud of you. You were right! You can be happy and successful at the same time.” whispered his father. (100 words)

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. – Albert Schweitzer

Our #100WordsonSaturday prompt over at Write Tribe is : Success first then happiness (agree or disagree). It’s obvious from my two little pieces of fiction which side I take in this argument.

No one says this better than the Dalai Lama:

I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.

What do you think about this?


  1. Payal Agarwal Payal Agarwal July 22, 2015

    Much depends on how one defines success. I loved both the stories. The quotes are wonderful. 🙂
    Payal Agarwal recently posted..What matters most?My Profile

  2. Vishal Bheeroo Vishal Bheeroo July 21, 2015

    The story pinches one and it should. Why should we wait for the last moment to say that we will live life to the fullest. I enjoy reading such grim reminders that hit us the most so that we pull our socks. Happiness doesn’t come from being a CEO but enjoying every moment, Corinne.

  3. Lata Lata July 20, 2015

    This is truly a great prompt. I have something half written. Hope to finish it today, Corinne
    Lata recently posted..For Whom the Clones CallMy Profile

  4. Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg July 19, 2015

    Both the stories are so close to reality! I liked the different perspectives you shared. If you do what you love you will be happy and successful too.
    Shilpa Garg recently posted..No ShowMy Profile

  5. BellyBytes BellyBytes July 19, 2015

    How true your stories ring Corinne. Success and happiness can go together but is it always a question of doing what you like or liking what you do? It is a bit like the chicken and egg….what comes first and basically are success and happiness mutually exclusive?
    BellyBytes recently posted..Learning to write#Monday MusingsMy Profile

  6. Ajay Pai Ajay Pai July 19, 2015

    HI Corinne, If one can be successful and happy at the same time, nothing like it. But who will quantify success? The person in question, right?

    Dalai Lama’s theory is so very practical. If one is at peace, at whatever is achieved, without being greedy and without constantly comparing his or her success with others, then such happiness and success at the same time is worth.
    Ajay Pai recently Lord Puri JagannathMy Profile

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