Does Status Equate to Happiness?

Drinking beer and talking with guys was my career for a while. Seriously, I got paid for this. Well, not the drinking part, but making beer and pizza available to young men in college was my job. I owned 3 bars and a pizza restaurant from when I was 21 until I was 31. It was a blast. I had fun making money from it. I had fun drinking with them, too.

Many of my conversations with college-aged men (age 21-24) sounded a lot alike, They’d tell me, “After I graduate, I will conquer (insert occupation or field of business) in this world, and I’ll probably retire by the time I am 35.” Seriously, this was a universal path for their lives–even before the alcohol kicked in. It was the route to success. “I will be the best, I will conquer. Everyone will know that I am that good. That should make me happy.”

Being successful in our janitorial services company has made me happy. But I haven’t seen a ranking of the top janitors in the world. And I’m not sure if we would be #1 or #100 in the latest rankings. I know that the success we’ve had has brought me some happiness. But I’m not sure if I can distinguish that the status of my career and company have made me happier. I think that once we established a level of credibility in our markets for our industry, I was happy. I’m not sure that since we were awarded a CIMS-GB certification—putting us in the top 1% in our industry–that I was necessarily any happier. I mean, I was happy, but was I happier? In my pursuit of happiness, I’m finding that my status does not make me happier. Happy, yes. Happier? No.

What about you? Can your pursuit of status in work, family, and life make you happier? Is ‘image’ where we should be spending our time if we say that we want to be happier?

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