Success is Getting What You Want; Happiness is Wanting What You Get

Success is about working hard for what you want and going out there and getting it, and it differs from happiness because happiness is when you feel really thankful for what you have and appreciating it all. You can be successful without really being happy. Sometimes this is an obstacle for people because they don’t truly know what they really want. Make the decision to be happy, take the time to figure out what matters most and appreciate all the things you have going for you in your life.

“Success is getting what you want;
happiness is wanting what you get.”

~ Dale Carnegie

This profound quote has been repeated again and again over the years. But what does it mean, and how can you apply it in everyday life?

In its simplest form, this simply suggests that success comes from achievement and accomplishment, and happiness is attained from appreciating and feeling grateful for what you attain and where you are.

This sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? But problems arise because we often times don’t know what we want. This is frequently the largest obstacle to finding what we’re looking for, whether that is happiness, success, or whatever we find ourselves wanting or needing. Furthermore, the harder we try to find these elusive things, the more bewildered, aggravated, and discouraged we become.

And then, just when you thought you were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, you find that what you thought you desired and would have given anything for at the outset isn’t really what we wanted after all.

So, where does this leave us? What are we to do when we reach this point?

Make the Decision to Be Happy

Happiness and success don’t come from attaining things – or from people, places, and situations in your life. They aren’t outside of you. They come from within. Stop fantasizing about “if only” – those things that would make your life great “if only” they’d happen for you tomorrow. What can change for you is your attitude.

“Finding happiness is like finding yourself. You don’t find happiness, you make happiness. You choose happiness. Self-actualization is a process of discovering who you are, who you want to be and paving the way to happiness by doing what brings YOU the most meaning and contentment to your life over the long run.”
~ David Leonhardt


Take the Time to Figure Out What Matters Most

Consider, prioritize, and act. Think genuinely, contemplatively, and critically about your beliefs and values. Determine whether you’re living a life in support of those principles and standards or not. Set goals to achieve those ideals, and act to reinforcement those goals.

In summary, to achieve success and happiness, decide once and for all to be successful and happy, discover exactly what it is that you want from life, and act in accordance with the values and goals you’ve set for yourself.

Thanks to Gustav at for including this post in his Success Edition #3.

Thank you to Life Insurance Lowdown for including this post in the Carnival of Life, Happiness, and Meaning.

Explore Similar Topics

Recent Post

relinquishment and addiction