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Success is a perception. Others decide whether a person is successful or not. Success is measured by one’s status and position in the professional circles and society. In today’s materialistic world it is also measured by the material wealth in the shape of real estate, landholdings, residence, office, cars and personal accessories one owns. In other words, it is the ownership of assets and the life style that determine whether one is successful or not. Success is relative in terms of who is looking at whom and the time taken by the successful person to move from one level to another level; the level considered to be the level of successful people.

Ingredients of success can be the personal attributes of the individual himself or the outside factors. Hard work, commitment, persistence, perseverance, clarity of thought and purpose; which some may call as being focused, are some of the important qualities for being successful. Ability to identify opportunities, soft skills including networking and street smartness in today’s context are some of the other qualities which help in one’s being successful. External factors include exposure, opportunities and luck.

Success comes from identifying one’s own strengths and leveraging on these strengths, identifying one’s own weaknesses and correcting such weaknesses, recognising the opportunities and exploiting these opportunities, and anticipating the threats and addressing the threats.

There are unintended consequences too, in the shape of problems. The activities which were the cause of success start demanding increasingly more time of the individual and start eating into the private and personal time of the successful individuals. Very often family and the friends who could be the true source of happiness start getting lesser time and attention from such successful persons. Repeated doses of success can make a person arrogant and over ambitious and sometimes even a rogue.

Success leads to happiness but that is generally momentary and short lived. It does not last long. The reason is that the moment one reaches one’s goal or attains one’s objective one feels happy for a while. The person once again gets busy in setting another goal or target for himself or herself and gets busy in the pursuit of the new goal or target. Despite this happiness being short-lived it gives one a fresh bout of energy and a desire to set new and higher target or objective. In other words success helps in nurturing ambition.

Success is not contagious whereas happiness is. The reason others get attracted to the successful person is that the material gains are visible to them, the personal qualities or attributes matter much less to others and the person himself or herself as an individual hardly matters. In the case of happiness it is the reverse. It is the person who is happy attracts others first, next comes recognition of his qualities and traits which make him happy and material things hardly matter.

Successful people know their refresh button; that is they know what recharges their batteries quickly. Happy people get the same by avoiding, ignoring and not listening to people or those of their own feelings that cause bitterness or negativity.

Happiness is a very personal matter and issue. It comes from within. External world including success as perceived by others and people including friends and relatives can give short term happiness but not a lasting one. Happiness is a state of mind. Mind can be trained: trained to look at the good side of every thing, every person, and every situation. Mind can be trained to be optimistic all the time.

It is easier to be happy for a fearless person. Happy person shall always be fearless as he does not live in imaginary fear.

One of the easiest ways to be happy is to be in the company of happy, positive and optimistic people.

Drivers of happiness include being youthful, playful and being helpful to others. For these reasons youngsters generally are happier as compared to older persons who may be unhappy because of infirmities and ill health and some times because of the bitter and sad experiences and events of the past life. In today’s world, however, due to excessive competition, the youth are left with little time to be playful or get time to peruse their real interests.

Young minds equate success with happiness. Older people, whether successful or not, start understanding that happiness could be independent of success. They also learn from the examples of some other old persons, as to how to be happy despite difficulties and problems.

Success attracts followers and imitators. Happiness begets admirers.