In the grand scheme of things, your moment-to-moment quality of life is equally, if not more, important than your long-term successes and failures. Goals are important, and achievement can be truly gratifying as well as lucrative, but if in the course of your endeavors you have been an overworked, humorless and relentlessly driven maniac, then you have not been successful.
A successful life cannot be measured in numbers. A hefty bank account is a very nice thing, and a wall full of awards may impress your dinner guests, but those are signs of a successful career, not necessarily a successful life. Your career is not your life. It may be a large part of it, and that’s fine as long as you have enjoyed the ride and balanced it alongside your personal relationships and sufficient leisure time with a healthy dose of perspective. But if your desire to succeed has become all-consuming, eclipsed all else and prevented you from truly enjoying every day, then you have missed the proverbial boat.
If you want to measure just how successful you have been in constructing your life, then answer the following questions honestly and you will get a very clear picture:
Do you have stable, drama-free personal relationships?
Do you laugh out loud every day?
Do you instinctively clear time in your daily schedule for leisure?
Do you sleep well at night?
Do you reward yourself for your own successes?
Do you make the most of your surroundings?
Are you able to trust people?
Can you enjoy doing nothing?
Are you able to love freely?
Are you open to affection?
Do you live without fear?
Not all of the traits listed above come easily or naturally to everyone, and some may require a conscious effort. But as lifestyles go, they are all worth aspiring to if you truly want to enjoy your time on this earth and be truly successful in living your life.
(From the writings of Michael Flocker)