Don't Be An Ass

Since you were a boy  everyone has told you to ‘set goals’ but no one told you how to frame  them. What is success? It is tempting to measure your success by the  benchmarks of others.  This is especially true in sports, sex and  money.    Is making more money than your friends going to make you  happy?


Reaching a benchmark will result  in a short lived happiness but when it fades, will you need to exceed  the next benchmark to regain your happiness?  What is the difference  between you and the donkey, or ass, pulling the cart while it chases the  elusive carrot?  The cart you pull is full of your fears and self  doubts and you are only temporarily relived of their burden when you  catch the carrot.  However, once the carrot is gone, the cart is  reattached and you are left dragging it through life as you chase the  next carrot. 

Don’t be an ass.   If hitting 30 home runs will make you happy this year, how many will be  required next year?  If sleeping with 2 women this month will make you  happy, how many will be required next month?  If making $250,000 will  make you happy this year, how much will you need to make next year?  In  five years, when you need to hit 40 home runs, make $1,000,000 a year  and sleep with 50 women, when will you have time to enjoy your success  and be happy and with whom will you share it?

   Having a good definition of success  is an important component of happiness.  I keep a quote from a calendar  taped to my monitor, it says “measure your wealth by the state of your  health, the love of your family and the number of good friends.” 

    On those days where fame seems  glamorous and glamour sounds good, I am reminded that I am important to  my family and friends. On those days where I become distracted by the  financial success of others, this quote reminds me of the well balanced  life I lead to maintain my health and happiness. 

    Set  goals that match your definition of success and happiness.  Celebrate  each and every achievement, but remember that the resulting thrill will  last only as long as the celebration.  Don’t confuse success or  happiness with fame, glory, money, power, prowess, even if everyone else  does.  Maintaining your integrity in spite of fame, glory, money, power  and prowess is a real success and will set the stage for happiness.