Opinion: Happiness is a better measure of success

How wealth is not the best reflection of prosperity



Success is not about winning or losing. It is measured on an individual level.

Bethany Mann, Staff Writer

Jeff Bezos: $56,250,000,000

Elon Musk: $39,500,000,000

Mark Zuckerberg: $12,000,000,000

For many Americans, money has always been associated with success. Once a person has earned six figures, they have made it. However, not everyone has the same idea of success. Success is on an individual level.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that high job demands, low job control and lack of social support in the workplace are several stressors that might be associated with depression. Around 71% of people work from 9 a.m. to 5 a.m., with many employees wanting to perform their best, causing them to feel obligated to complete their work with little to no recognition from their employers. This can lead to employee burnout. The mental health of citizens should rank higher than their salary.

Working a nine to five job takes employees away from their families. This not only affects them, but their children and spouses as well. Having time for themselves to do what they want and spend time with their families can increase the overall happiness of their life. Though citizens may be able to provide for their families, spending quality time with them is more important.

In a study conducted by the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, researchers found that happy employees are 13% more productive. Oftentimes, people will find themselves in situations in which they do not enjoy their work. It then becomes difficult to complete their job since they are not happy with their career. Finding a vocation that a person truly enjoys is one of the most successful achievements in life.

While it can be argued that money can buy happiness through materialistic things and financial security, that does not mean a person is leading a triumphant life. A person’s overall joy from their career, whether they are earning an affluent amount of money or just enough to get through life, is how they measure success.

The question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is asked to every child. Many respond with ambitious goals such as doctor, lawyer, astronaut, president and the occasional Bob the Builder or Doc McStuffins. 

By the time a child is in high school, these answers are no longer acceptable. Suddenly, a doctor is an unrealistic career, and an astronaut is unachievable. 

But when they respond with their true dreams such as dancer, artist, photographer, small boutique owner, they need to “dream bigger,” have a more “stable career,” or “earn more money.” 

Instead of focusing on salary and job title, the mental health, free time and happiness a person gains from their career should determine the success of said person.