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Happiness v. Success

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The United States- China Student Summit was a life changing experience for me. Many years of dreaming to visit a beautiful place with such rich history soon became a reality for me. The speakers from the summit were phenomenal, but the one speaker who intrigued me the most was Tiziano Peccenini. Before he began his speech, I had read his background information and purpose in his book, which was waiting in my chair when I had arrived to Peking University. As I read the book’s preface and introduction, I automatically knew that the book was meant for me and the message was given to help me realize my calling in life. Tiziano Peccenini’s message was based on the views of happiness and success. Today, many people misinterpret the understanding of happiness and success by thinking that they are interdependent of one another.

Success is the outcome of a certain situation and it is defined as the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors, which contributes to the accomplishment of one’s goal. Happiness is the state or quality of being happy. According to the two definitions, they are independent and have two completely different meanings. In the book, Pecce gives a synopsis of his life story and answers questions asked by the Chinese students. For a while, I thought that if I gained success, then that would make me happy. When I actually analyzed the meanings of the two words and compared them to my life, I understood that success in my life never contributed to my happiness. For example, I graduated from college Magna Cum Laude and top of my class, which was a very successful moment in my life, but it did not result in happiness because I could not find a job in my field.

Another point that sparked my attention was when he mentioned that many people think that success is wealth and results in happiness. In my generation, many people look at success as having plenty of money, cars, clothes, and a huge mansion. In actuality, money does not bring happiness because there are many people in the world with plenty of money, but they are not happy with their lives. Growing up, I always thought that if I could gain success and wealth, then my life would be filled with happiness. Now, I realize that happiness has to come from within and having a healthy lifestyle, supportive family, and peace of mind are the things that are important to me and are results of my happiness.

As I continue to strive for higher goals, try different experiences and follow my heart, I capture a sense of happiness because I am doing what I feel is right and have a passion for. Tiziano Peccenini helped me view life differently and has inspired me to begin sharing my stories and experiences with others so that they do not misinterpret success as being a results of happiness. I understand that life can either bring an outcome of success or failure. I also know that either a person can be happy or not happy, but the main key is to overcome the barriers and find something that could make an individual happy, which could eventually lead to successful outcomes.

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