The ancient Greek philosophers praised bliss as the pinnacle of success regarding human life. However, in modern times it seems that the word bliss is less and less present in our lives. 

#happiness #life #society #personaldevelopment #balance #work #wellbeing #success #purpose

By Mia Kollia
Translated by Alexandros Theodoropoulos

Many people work all their lives with the sole aim of attaining material rewards, forgetting to invest in a meaningful purpose that will give meaning to their lives, as a result of which they seek depth and substance very slowly or even not at all and have lost many opportunities along the way.

A famous study by Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton (Harvard Grant) that looked in depth at the link between happiness and income, came to a logical conclusion: people, towards the end of their lives, rarely deal with money or material goods. On the contrary, many regret the lack of human connection, relationships and true meaning in work and life during their lifetime.

As early as the early 1990s, many leaders and entrepreneurs began to pursue happiness, but only after they had achieved material, financial, and professional success. The problem was obvious: people who already had a brilliant career had to be persuaded to accumulate resources, money, power and positions of power in order to redistribute their time and talents so that they could seek the true meaning and experience the positive impact derived by different achievements in the second half of their lives.

The problem with this reasoning is that it implies that professional "success" and a happy, meaningful life cannot be combined. In fact, there is no success without meaning and significance.

The bliss approach aims to human flourish through a broader definition of success, which focuses on awareness and making the right choices about the priorities we make in our lives.

One of the difficulties in this process is that the prevailing perception of success is still attached to material goods. Thus, we may not have thought thoroughly and in detail if this is really the path we want to follow and if we can endure overcoming alternative approaches to life that will give us another fulfillment. Most of the time our default choice  is to pursue material success without really wondering why.

happy life

Instead, it's important to think about how we can live a life richly imbued not only with a superficial "success", but with a deep purpose and joy in what we do. Accepting a more essential definition of success forces us to take a different path from that advocated through mainstream culture. And doing it on time allows us to build a life that will be steadily and progressively full of meaning.

As we begin to search for our truth and allow ourselves to envision success differently, we may ask ourselves a few questions:

- What is the main purpose of my work and the ways in which it makes the world better, and how can I lean towards this purpose or how can I transform my daily work to approach it?

- What are the key relationships in my life, both in and out of work, and how can I go deeper into them and enrich them?

- Who do I support inside and outside of my job and what else can I do at work, at home and in society to help other people?

- How do I get better day by day? How can I follow a meaningful course in my personal or professional life?

A rich life has always a purpose and can recognise it; in positive and deep human relationships, in creativity, at work, in essential philosophical and ideological beliefs, in working with other people and in solidarity.

Taking these facts into account, we can ask ourselves at what point are we in this personal journey of evolution. At the same time, we can move on to revitalizing an existing career or many of our usual activities when we feel like we are in a quagmire.

Many people who wait until the second half of their lives to consider these questions find that their ability to experience real success has diminished as they have followed a path with no deeper meaning. And while it is never too late to choose to live more truly and effectively, it's best to start as early as possible.

This is immediately possible in our lives today! It may involve a change in the way we view our work or a more serious investment in more positive relationships. We can make a big change  in our profession, in the place where we live or in our way of life. But we should definitely take a serious look at our lives and think about whether the path we are on really leads us to where we want to go.