By Tim Klepaczyk
How do you measure success? Perhaps the most commonly cited yardsticks are corporate advancement and financial wealth. This is reinforced by the economic indicators most often mentioned on the nightly news, including GDP growth.
I’ve never been persuaded that these are the best measures of personal or national success. We’ve all known people who’ve toiled long hours in jobs that they do not enjoy. Besides, even the most fun job is less than ideal if its demands prevent you from going to junior’s recital that was so important to him.
I read a book I really liked many years ago called “Your Money or Your Life”, by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. They talked about how there is a trade-off between “fulfillment” and “money spent”. The money you spend depends on your salary and work hours. Another way to look at this is life energy – where a job you really like requires less life energy per hour, but even the most rewarding work if it also has excessive hours requires a lot of life energy.
They go on further to say that our survival needs require relatively little “life energy”, comforts a bit more, and true luxuries even more. To a point, fulfillment increases with more life energy invested. However, the less introspective among us – for example, those too easily influenced to “keep up with the Joneses” – start sliding back down the fulfillment scale as the blind pursuit of additional luxuries compromises other things that are important in life.
The leaders of the small Asian country Bhutan have an alternative to GDP called GDH – Gross Domestic Happiness. I think they’re really on to something, and I hope we find a way to incorporate their insight into our own national measures.
The Ultimate Measure of Personal Success is happiness, and more particularly happiness with emotional health. Don’t lose sight of this when seeking work at any point in your life.
Tim Klepaczyk is an RF & microwave engineer with over 20 years of experience in applications & sales and product design & validation. He also loves writing.
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