Anything you are good at contributes to happiness. –Bertrand Russell
This is a thought that has woven itself throughout my education and adult life, and it is particularly relevant when considering my place in the world. For a long time, I thought I wanted to be and needed to be a pediatrician to be happy, successful, and respected. I thought that the education and accomplishments that came with such a goal were what created happiness, which when entering college, meant success.
I’ve learned though that this could not be the case. If the prestigious jobs were what everyone sought to be happy, we would never have a complete society. If everyone attempted to be a doctor or lawyer or any other overrated occupation, our world would fall apart. Many would fall with the immense challenges these occupations bring, not to mention the holes it would leave in other occupations. What about the janitors? The machiners? The truck drivers and public servants and artists and writers?
I strongly believe that everyone must do what they enjoy and what makes them genuinely happy. When everyone does this the world falls into place. Maybe being a mechanic is not what makes a person happy, but providing for their family does. And so living day to day as a mechanic does provide satisfaction–it is a means to a happy end. Following one’s individual pleasing goals contributes to our societal rhythm of life. And without each individual contribution, eventually, the world’s breath would cease.