With our media and celebrity-heavy culture, it’s very, very common to see people unconsciously adopt a frame of reference that if they’re not famous, they’re not successful. If they’re not wealthy, they’re not successful. Even when they know better, they continue to behave in ways that give them this underlying sense of dissatisfaction if they’re not famous enough or rich enough.
There are moments when — if we’re doing the right kind of work — we can have both a very strong sense of achievement and a very powerful and fulfilling sense of satisfaction. There are some things we do where we hit a sweet spot — where we can feel both very positive emotions and also accomplish a great deal. But I think the other half of that is you have to choose how to spend your time.
People who achieve more are probably more conscientious. They’re more self-disciplined. They’re more likely to follow through.
On the other hand, people who are happier have more positive emotions. They have a greater sense of satisfaction. They are a little bit more emotionally intelligent, more self aware and maybe more open to novel experiences and are not so interested in controlling everything about their environment.