Is it better to strive for happiness or a sense of meaning when undertaking large endeavour, be it starting business or climbing career ladder?

Having read several books on the subject of motivation, entrepreneurialism, etc, I see two different schools of thought. One says how the purpose behind undertaking a large endeavour is to ultimately bring more pleasure and happiness to you and your loved ones. The other says that meaning and purpose is the primary motivation behind your actions. As such , would be interested as to your motivation to achieve the success that you have attained?


Both happiness and a sense of meaning are essential aspects of a fulfilling life and can play different roles when undertaking large endeavors like starting a business or climbing the career ladder. The preference for one over the other can vary depending on individual values, beliefs, and personal goals. Let's explore both perspectives:

Striving for Happiness:

Immediate Gratification: Seeking happiness can focus on experiencing positive emotions and immediate gratification. This approach can lead to enjoying the journey, feeling satisfied in the present moment, and finding joy in everyday experiences.

Work-Life Balance: Prioritizing happiness may lead to a better work-life balance as it emphasizes taking breaks, pursuing hobbies, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to ensure overall well-being.

Positive Workplace Culture: In a business or career setting, prioritizing happiness can lead to a positive workplace culture where employees feel valued, motivated, and more engaged in their tasks.

Striving for a Sense of Meaning:

Long-term Fulfillment: Pursuing a sense of meaning involves working towards something greater than oneself, which can lead to a deeper and more lasting sense of fulfillment.

Motivation and Resilience: When individuals believe their work has a purpose and makes a difference, they tend to be more motivated and resilient in the face of challenges.

Positive Impact: Businesses or careers driven by a sense of meaning often contribute positively to society, as they are focused on addressing real-world problems and making a difference in the lives of others.

Finding a Balance:
It's important to note that happiness and a sense of meaning are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they can complement each other. Striving for a sense of meaning in what you do can lead to a deeper level of happiness and satisfaction. Conversely, focusing on happiness in your work can enhance your sense of purpose, especially if you find joy in contributing positively to the world.

Ultimately, the ideal approach may involve finding a balance between happiness and meaning. Consider these questions:

What Matters to You: Reflect on your personal values and what truly matters to you. What kind of impact do you want to have through your endeavors?

Alignment with Goals: Evaluate whether your business or career path aligns with your values and long-term objectives. Will it bring you both happiness and a sense of meaning?

Adaptability: Recognize that goals and priorities can change over time. Stay open to reassessing your path and adjusting your approach as you grow and evolve.

In conclusion, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to whether happiness or a sense of meaning is better when undertaking significant endeavors. The key is to be self-aware, understand your motivations, and strive for a fulfilling life that aligns with your values and aspirations.

Answered a year ago

Hmmmmmm... Is it better to strive for happiness or a sense of meaning in large endeavors such as starting a business or climbing the career ladder is subjective and can vary depending on individual perspectives and priorities. Here are two viewpoints to consider:

1. Happiness-Prioritized Approach: Some individuals prioritize happiness as their ultimate goal. They believe that pursuing activities and endeavors that bring them joy, fulfillment, and a sense of well-being is the key to a fulfilling life. From this perspective, the focus is on doing what makes you happy, finding passion in your work, and seeking a positive work-life balance. This approach often emphasizes personal satisfaction, happiness, and overall well-being.

2. Meaning-Prioritized Approach: Others prioritize a sense of meaning and purpose in their endeavors. They believe that finding a deeper sense of purpose in their work or chosen endeavors provides a more long-lasting and fulfilling experience. From this viewpoint, the focus is on making a significant impact, contributing to society or a cause that aligns with their values, and feeling a sense of fulfillment by creating meaning beyond personal happiness. This approach may involve sacrificing immediate happiness for a greater purpose or pursuing work that has a positive societal impact.
It's important to note that finding happiness and a sense of meaning are not mutually exclusive. They often intersect and complement each other. Striving for meaningful endeavors that also bring happiness and fulfillment can lead to a more balanced and rewarding journey.

Answered a year ago

The question of whether it's better to strive for happiness or a sense of meaning when undertaking a large endeavor, such as starting a business or climbing the career ladder, is subjective and can vary from person to person. Both happiness and a sense of meaning are valuable and important aspects of life, and they can complement each other.

Happiness: Pursuing happiness means seeking pleasure, joy, and positive emotions in your endeavors. When you prioritize happiness, you focus on actions and goals that bring immediate gratification and contentment. This can lead to a more enjoyable and fulfilling day-to-day experience.

Sense of Meaning: Striving for a sense of meaning involves pursuing activities and goals that align with your values, passions, and a sense of purpose. It goes beyond momentary happiness and involves finding significance and fulfillment in the pursuit of long-term goals or contributing to something greater than yourself.

The right approach for you will depend on your individual values, personality, and life circumstances. Some people find great satisfaction and happiness in pursuing a meaningful purpose, even if it involves facing challenges and setbacks. For them, the sense of fulfillment derived from their work or mission outweighs any momentary happiness.

Others may prioritize happiness and well-being in their pursuits. They may seek balance in life, valuing positive emotions and contentment in their daily activities, even if the overall endeavor might not have a grand sense of meaning.

Ideally, a combination of both happiness and meaning is desirable. When your large endeavors align with your values and bring you joy and fulfillment along the way, you are more likely to sustain motivation and overcome obstacles.

Ultimately, introspection and self-awareness can help you determine which approach is more suitable for you. Ask yourself what truly matters to you, what brings you joy, and what you believe contributes to a meaningful life. Often, finding a balance between happiness and meaning can lead to a more well-rounded and satisfying life journey.

Answered a year ago

As someone who has started a few businesses and also read many similar books to what it sounds like you've been reading, I'd actually challenge this entire premise. The best way to set yourself on the right path is to define your goals at the outset, for yourself- not what you think is the "right" way to set goals. Comparison is the thief of joy, so figure out what you are trying to achieve with this endeavor, what would make you feel like a success, and go get it! Don't worry about the right way or how other people might do it and you'll build something authentic that people are naturally drawn to. Good luck!

Answered a year ago

When you start a business you have to look at your overall goal wether that is to make other people's live easier or make a massive income or make a quality product but the answer to your question in my opinion would be both but at the end of the day you have to do what's best for you because nobody else is going to.

Answered a year ago

The question is who you want be, where do you want to go, and do you have sense of belonging. Happiness comes within and sense of living purposeful life if thats what meant is very subjective and varies from person to person, a life lived well is more of how many lives you changed and made a positive impact as an entrepreneur, you have the power to do so. This is something I apply both in life and any business situation, if are enjoying and passionate about the things you do and still help others that adds a great sense of meaning

Answered a year ago

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