To me, happiness is a feeling. A feeling that comes and goes depending on circumstance and moments of bliss. When I think of something that will make me happy I think of getting coffee with an old friend or going to a movie with my wife.
These moments, although wonderful, are finite and must end. Something that distinguished happiness is that it is dependent on something that would cause happiness. Although happiness is a wonderful thing, it is not sustaining, and should not be set as a goal or as the peak of success as happiness will only last in moments.
The definition of a successful person has nothing to do with an outcome. Rather it is a person who can adapt to the climate in which they exist. Life is unpredictable and, although man enjoys making plans and working to bring them into fruition, God may have something else in mind. As told in the article “Man’s Search for Meaning” (Burton, 2012) the most successful individuals retained control over their environment.
Those who could choose their own attitudes and find meaning to life were the most successful. Success is not making the best of what could be but rather making the best out of what already is.
To have a meaningful life is to live life under a reason to live. A man who has a reason to live has direction and direction shows the way to live meaningfully. In concentration camps, some individuals found a reason to live in embodying hope to others who needed it. To live meaningfully is to live not only believing you can make a difference but acting on that belief.
"Frankl’s message is ultimately one of hope: even in the most absurd, painful, and dispiriting of circumstances, life can be given a meaning, and so too can suffering." (Burton 2012)
Living meaningfully can be done in all circumstances; bitter, sweet, planned, or random.
Finding happiness should not be the definition of success because happiness is fleeting and there is importance in suffering. Not to say that suffering is our goal but that there is value in it. Suffering is a teacher. It teaches us where are limits are and it teaches us to adapt.
. Suffering, when handled properly, can reshape our perspective and lead us to greater things. Particularly when searching for meaning in life these experiences can give us a greater picture of ourselves to realize how we can live meaningfully.