As the year 2010 dawns, here is a simple new year’s wish for you: May you be happy! But of course, that “simple wish” brings us to a central notion of what is happiness. There are quite a few related terms, and we can try to establish some general relationships among them:
Do these concepts always go together? Perhaps not.
Let us begin with the obvious. Can we measure someone’s success? If so, then how? Two different individuals may have different conditions and different goals, in that case, how might we be able to compare them on their end result in any sense? Even if two individuals had similar conditions and similar goals, might it be possible that the individuals had different priorities for those goals? Pushing this argument further, we can reach the conclusion that the success is just as subjective a phenomenon as satisfaction, and only an individual can judge or measure their own success. Success is usually not independent of money, social power, family structure and other such measures, but it is also not any of those things by itself (or even in a combination) consistently for every single individual.
Can success be a measure of satisfaction? Is it possible that a highly self satisfied individual may recognize that they are not the most successful they can be? If so, does that contradict their self satisfaction? Do we then reach the conclusion that:
Being satisfied implies being successful.
In formal propositional logic, this would be written as:
satisfied(x) -> successful(x)
Another way to phrase this is to say that “Success is a component of Satisfaction”.
Similarly, can happiness be a measure of satisfaction? Is it possible that a highly self satisfied individual may recognize that they are not the happiest they can be? If so, does that contradict their self satisfaction? Do we then reach the conclusion that:
Being satisfied implies being happy. Similarly as before, we can write this as:
satisfied(x) -> happy(x)
“Happiness is a component of Satisfaction.”
So, we arrive at the notion that the satisfaction is really the super concept here, and happiness and success are (at least) two components of satisfaction. We further need to evaluate the relationship between happiness and success, and explore what else we missed. Here is a cheesy graphic of the simple conclusions we drew.
Perhaps, the new year’s wish should really be: “May you be satisfied.”