Redefining Success/Happiness

The two winners of the Goodreads Giveaway of The Power of Harmony are from Alaska and New York – Red Deer will be mailing their copies out this week:) Thanks to the 431 people who entered (and I hope a few of those people will read it even though they didn’t win:)
successLove this illustration of “Success” – there’s no straight line about it, I do know that. The other day I was asked by a student to give a “TEDx” sort of talk on the topic of “redefining success”; in other words, I wasn’t supposed to talk about writing, but rather give my opinion on that specific topic, in under 18 minutes. Very interesting … I’m not actually able to do it as I’ll be away for a week in November, but it’s given me something to think about this week.

I’ve been working so hard on my writing lately that I have an injury – my right baby finger aches all the time, from all that punctuating and “entering/returning”. So is success being  crazy busy all the time doing something you love? Sort of …

Then I came upon this quote, which made me pause and reconsider. Am I chasing happiness when I’m writing, or am I just being happy? Is there a difference? For sure sometimes I feel like I spend far too much time at my laptop, and when I’m in the middle of “make believe” (thanks, Laura Best), I have to force myself to go outside, take a few deep breaths and enjoy the crisp sunshiny days we’ve had this fall. Charlie totally appreciates this and watching her wag and romp and run definitely makes me smile (unless it involves fresh cow plops). But so does finding the (for the moment) perfect words to express whatever’s going on in the story I’m writing.

happinessSo, what do you think? How do you define success? Happiness?  Is chasing happiness the same as just being happy?