I know plenty of people that came into an inheritance, or won the lottery, or killed it in business. But they have no friends, no family, and no meaningful relationships. So, are they really successful? I don’t believe they are. To me, “success” is not financial success. It’s holistic success, and money is just one part of the puzzle. You need love, joy, and friendship. You need to take time to appreciate your good fortune and – more importantly – craft a plan to pass some of that good fortune along to others.

In the pursuit of success, it’s critical to recognize that true satisfaction comes not just from achieving goals but from experiencing joy along the way. Success without joy is like amassing wealth without the ability to savor it—it may seem outwardly impressive, but the true richness of life lies in the moments of happiness that accompany our achievements.

While success is often measured in terms like career milestones, financial gains, and recognition—it’s the intangible aspects, most notably the joy you get from the journey, that give meaning to our pursuits. Joy is the fuel that propels us, infusing passion into our endeavors and transforming the pursuit of success into a rewarding and fulfilling experience.

Without joy, success is often just a hollow victory. The absence of genuine happiness in one’s accomplishments can lead to emptiness and a perpetual longing for something more. It’s a reminder that success isn’t only a destination, rather it’s a continuous journey. The joy experienced during this journey serves as a constant motivator, driving us to overcome challenges, break boundaries, and savor the small victories that lead to the larger ones.

Joy is the spark for creativity and innovation. When individuals find joy in their work, they are more likely to approach challenges with enthusiasm and creativity. The joy obtained from the process of being creative fuels a natural desire to experiment with different ideas, explore new possibilities, and ultimately contribute to personal and professional growth. By contrast, a joyless pursuit of success may lead to inaction, as we become more focused on the result rather than the joy of discovery and innovation.

Further, joy enhances our overall quality of life. Success, when accompanied by joy, contributes to a sense of balance and well-being. It allows us to appreciate the present moment, celebrate our achievements, and maintain a positive outlook even when we face setbacks. A life marked by success, but lacking joy can lead to burnout, and a constant sense of displeasure, negating the very purpose of achieving success in the first place.

In essence, success without joy is a passing and superficial victory. It is the joy experienced along the way that transforms success into a meaningful and enduring journey. As individuals, we must prioritize not only the pursuit of our goals but also the cultivation of joy in our daily lives.

Success becomes truly worthwhile when it is accompanied by fulfillment, contentment, and joy —attributes that make the journey as rewarding as the destination.