The Quest for Success and Happiness

What do we need for genuine happiness?

Posted Sep 06, 2016

 Pedro Ribeiro Simões, CCL
Source: Pedro Ribeiro Simões, CCL

Many of us are chasing happiness but not finding it. There are many reasons for this. Some of us, however, have mistakenly adopted the wrong goals in life, thinking that they will bring us true happiness.

Money, fame, power, and social status are widely portrayed as keys to the good life, to being truly fulfilled and happy. However, there are good reasons for thinking that they will fail to deliver. For example, many people with all of these are unhappy, some are even suicidal. Money, fame, power, and social status are excellent resources, but they are flawed as life goals.

Public thinker Tom Morris offers a solution to finding true success and lasting happiness in life, in something he calls the 3-D Approach to Life:

  1. Discover your positive talents.
  2. Develop your most meaningful and beneficial talents.
  3. Deploy your talents in the world for the good of others, and your own good.

If we discover and develop the talents we have that are consistent with what we know to be good and valuable, we are well on our way to genuine success and happiness. Rather than focusing on how we might make a name for ourselves, or amass great wealth, we should focus on discovering, developing, and deploying our talents and abilities. When we do this, we will find our impact on the world to be much greater than we thought possible. And we'll find the kind of happiness that endures.

*This is the first in a series on true success, where I'll focus on what Tom Morris calls "The Seven C's of Success": a clear conception of what we want, a strong confidence that we can attain that goal, concentration on what it will take to achieve it, consistent pursuit of our goal, an emotional commitment to the value of our goal, good character that guides us along the way, and a capacity to enjoy the process. I'll be discussing each of these over the next few months. I hope you'll find it helpful!


The above is drawn from Tom's entertaining and enlightening book, Philosophy for Dummies.