Success Defined

While we all face a plethora of challenges unique to us, one problem that unites all of humanity is the search for happiness. No matter your personal or professional goals, we’re all just looking to be happy at the end of the day. This is an irrefutable fact, but one of which we often lose sight. Renowned chef James Rigato says that we sometimes take a backwards approach, focusing on the byproducts rather than the necessary process.

The key to being successful, in his view, is to chase fulfillment. Pursue a career path that makes you feel like your talents are being utilized, like you are contributing something to the world. That often involves making sacrifices, but you will benefit in the long term. If you work hard, deploy your talents intelligently, and work towards something meaningful, you might find happiness and financial success. But if you only chase these surface-level rewards, you may be surprised by how slowly things move.

It is also important to remember that meaning can be found in many jobs. You don’t have to be a heart surgeon (although props if you are) to make the world a better place. As an aspiring television writer, I spent years wondering if I was doing enough for the world. But the reality is, anyone who makes something that improves someone’s daily life is doing something right. And anyone can do that. Whether you’re a teacher, a chef, or an entrepreneur, make fulfillment your goal, and success will follow.

before you get back to work...

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Those with happy but meaningless lives are takers and beneficiaries; those with meaningful lives are givers and benefactors.
— Steven Pinker
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