Given a choice, would you be happy, or successful?

I asked this question to a bunch of students the other day and surprisingly, most of them said, ‘happy.’ However, in the last decade or so of my working life, I haven’t quite seen this attitude. I have seen so called successful people being terribly unhappy.

Is it possible to be successful and unhappy?


There was this guy I used to work with a few years back. He has the head the small ad agency he used to run. In terms of business, he had done well and drove a Mercedes. However, he was quite unhappy and quite a horrible guy to be around. He used to shout and scream at people throughout the day. He had hired a CEO and I saw him insult the CEO in front of the entire staff. I hated him and everyone hated him. People worked there because they needed a job and at that point in my life, even I did. He almost never smiled and one day he smiled by mistake, and I put down my papers. The last line is a joke. But his smile could make anybody cry. I wished he never smiled again.

Is it possible to be successful and happy?


Steve jobs was a happy and successful man, till he lived. At least, professionally. So is Will Smith. So is Sachin Tendulkar. So is Amitabh Bachchan. So is anybody who is doing work he loved and trying to make it big. The process may take 2 years or 10 years, and it may not be easy and comfortable as a job, but you could make it big and you would enjoy the process.

My problem with success is that it is an outward measure of life. Success is adjudged in the eyes of the society-you don’t feel success inside of you. Success has become an identifier of materialistic wealth and comfort. The problem is not with materialistic wealth and comfort-the problem is with how they were earned.

A lot of people earn money by doing any job that would bring them money. They don’t think about how to make the world a better place. They don’t think about their strengths. They don’t think about a life bigger than themselves. They don’t think about happiness on a day on day level.

If you have money and comfort, you are successful as per society. You may be killing yourself inside, but the society makes you feel you are amazing and you get stuck in the hypocrisy of it all.


It takes guts to be happy because the society is not wired around it and you almost have to go against your family, friends and society to seek happiness. Do you have the guts?

Happiness cannot be judged by anyone else. Your happiness resides inside of you. You are the only judge of your happiness and therefore, you are the only one who can take decisions about your happiness.

Unfortunately, money is quite a shallow source of happiness. The happiness that money buys- a house, a car, material goods don’t deliver deep, meaningful happiness. They make you happy for a while, but once the comfort sets it, it’s over.

The kind of happiness I recommend is deep and meaningful. I want you to experience happiness in your skin. I want you think about such moments where you get such kinds of happiness and I want you to experience those moments.

Here are a few things I recommend.

· Spend time with people you love in personal life and people you admire in professional life

· Find your passion-something that makes you come alive. Don’t stop till you do

· Once you find your passion, find ways to do it and slowly try and figure out if you can make a career with it

· Do not care about what the society thinks of you

· Make some money, so that you get by, till you can make a lot of money doing things you love

· Let your love and passion be the only reasons why you do things, not money and social conformity

· Dance whenever you can. Shake it baby-don’t care if someone is watching

· Travel to be, to learn, to explore

· Read people you think can make you happier

· Be in love with life, not with money

The kind of happiness you will feel when you do some of these things is a different kind of happiness. It’s deep and meaningful. Talk to me about happiness.

To drive people to experience meaningful happiness is a part of my mission.

Thank you for reading. Please share with me in the comment section what you thought of it. If you found it meaningful, please tag people who could use it and share it with your network.

To your happiness,


Call to Action: If you liked it, clap for the story as much you like so it keeps me driven to write more. It matters.



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Amarocks Singh Zing

Amarocks Singh Zing


Author, Stand Up Comedian. Trying to make people happier, one post, one show a time.