Happiness is Overrated

I came across this article entitled Happiness is Overrated in the Harvard Business Review.


This phrase stood out to me, "pain and discomfort are critical to growth, and that achieving excellence depends on the capacity to delay gratification." This makes me understand and helps me come to terms with the fact that failure happens. Sometimes we don't do as well as we want to. Coming at a time when I just received my grades for the first midterms of medical school, I can relate to falling short of one's expectations for oneself. Feeling disappointed in the outcome of one's examination will cause pain and discomfort. But, it is what we do with this feeling that makes the difference. This is true in all arenas of life. I learned this lesson time and time again in my youth. As a competitive long-distance swimmer, if I was behind at the start of the race, I would use that disappointment to keep pressing on. This would help me to continue plugging away at and and eventually persevere. Even if I did not win the race, I would achieve my best time. This would only happen if I learned to embrace the failure and not be a quitter.

I feel like I have heard the sentiment that perseverance makes all the difference between someone who will succeed and another who will fall short. I will continue to strive for the best. If you're not trying to be the best that you can be, then why bother trying? No one likes someone to half-ass an assignment or a presentation, and no one likes a friend who's not all there when you need them. Being a true person makes the difference. I am still trying to learn how to overcome my fear of failure. As JK Rowling so wisely states, failure strips away all the inessential, and who you hot rock bottom you should use it as a solid foundation. I have been through this, after the first year of engineering at Cornell, I hit rock bottom. I approached medical school as a test to see how much I learned from that experience. It is obvious that I learned some, but there is much still to do.

When we're living fully, what we feel is engaged and immersed, challenged and focused, curious and passionate. Happiness — or more specifically, satisfaction — is something we mostly feel retrospectively, as a payoff on our investment. And then, before very long, we move on to the next challenge.

This statement is taken from the aforementioned HBR article. It explains why we sometimes feel demotivated or apathetic after the thrill of success is past. I know that I experience this sometimes. It is the challenge that makes life worth living. In the words of Miley Cyrus, "Its the Climb"