Answer by David Throop:
To answer the question, what is the worthier lifelong goal: to be happy or to be successful, first we must examine the concepts of happiness and success.As a mental state, happiness is an emotional or psychological sense of wellbeing. It's amorphous and elastic depending on the circumstance and the situations surrounding the feeling. You could feel a sense of happiness from eating a box of chocolates, or from buying a new tablet you've had your eye on for a time period. It could also stem from meeting someone new, or holding someone you love.In essence, there are many different definitions to "what is happiness" and numerous factors that may catalyze that feeling and mental state.Success is just as arbitrary to define and just as difficult to specify. Some define success as the accumulation of things; of items, money and objects. Others may define success in extrinsic ways, such as winning a game, or earning a role in the upcoming drama. Still others may define what is success by intrinsic ways, like giving your best effort regardless of outcomes. I've addressed this concept of intrinsic success and what to do when you feel overwhelmed by others standards and definitions in a blog post titled:Now that we've examined what is the concept of happiness and success, the answer to the question of what is the better lifelong goal can be summed up as – it's subjective and both are aspects of the same amorphous mental state.Ultimately you are the only one capable of determining the correct answer. Your definition of success, your desire for happiness can be and should only be defined by your own standards.If you can come to the terms that you, and only you, can determine your own happiness and success, you won't get into the schism of having these concepts be in constant conflict with each other.