Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Christina Aguilera, Liam Neeon, Katy Perry, Charlie Sheen, Lindsey Lohan, Kim Jong Il, Dr. Laura: What do all these people have in common?

Fame.   According to the dictionary fame is a widespread reputation.  All the names above are known for something specific: Obama Barak – President of the United States, Donald Trump – accomplished and rich businessman, Christina Aguilera – talented vocalist.  All these people have positive, good reputations.  On the other hand, fame can be negative: Charlie Sheen – drug addict and player, Lindsey Lohan – partier, Kim Jong Il – dictator and bad leader.  Most people wouldn’t think of one of the last three names when asked name three famous people.  Why is that?  That’s due to the fact that fame is commonly accompanied by another attribute.

Success.  We all have different ideas on what determines success.  The dictionary says that success is the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.  Many times fame is said to happen when one is successful.  While the dictionary is right about the first part of success, I would like to propose another measurement to find success.

Happiness.  A word meaning to have the quality of being happy.  To be happy is to delight in or be pleased with a particular thing; someone characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy.  This is assumed to be paired with success.  However, if success is defined as no more work with the attainment of money, titles, and the like, then happiness is not always in the picture.

The only way you are going to be truly happy and successful is if you are doing that which you love. 

Thomas Edison was someone who knew what he loved.  When asked about his failed attempts at inventing the light bulb he said that he didn’t fail, he found all the ways in which not to make a light bulb.  If Edison had let those mistakes keep him from pursuing what he loves, we might not have the light bulb today.

In short, find that which you love and go after it.  Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.  Those mistakes are life’s greatest lessons.  Success doesn’t equal happiness, happiness equals success.


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