Success to Happiness or Happiness to Success?


Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing you will be successful. -Herman Cain

This quote came up in my Link In news feed this morning and stopped me in my tracks. I didn’t even make it to the rest of my email.  The quote reminded me of my dad. 

Carl Layton, unlike Herman Cain, had an 8th grade education. He was the foreman for a trucking company that employed him for 50 years. 2AM -11AM was the shift that guided his life for as long as I can remember.

He and mom drilled into us that an education was imperative to our future. They couldn’t help much with college tuition, but they gave us a loving home, good food and cars that Dad kept running so that we could get to university every day.

Two summers I worked on the assembly line of an electronics factory. Tedious, mind numbing work. Day shift one year. Evening shit the next (more money). I dragged myself out of the house, sometimes in tears. I hated this job!

So vividly, I remember the day Dad put his arms around my shoulders and told me to remember this day and this feeling. Happiness Success Dad

You are working now to pay your tuition so that you never have to work this kind of job again. Your goal is to find something that you want to do when you get out of bed in the morning. -Carl Layton

I’ve never forgotten those words. I knew they came from his heart. He wanted this happiness above all else for his daughters. This was why we had to get the education that was never available to our parents.

Worlds apart socially and economically. Herman Cain and Carl Layton held the same belief. A belief that I hope I have passed on to my children.

Today, as most days the past year, I am in front of my computer within 30 minutes of waking. My thoughts are on the day’s projects before my feet hit the floor. Once I’m up, Shiloh gets all of the immediate attention. I make my bed and fix the 1st cup of coffee. Then turn on the computer. For the next  8-10 hours, I read; I write; I paint; I learn. I am doing exactly what Dad told me to do. 

50 years ago, that midwestern girl could not, in her wildest dreams, have imagined that her happiness would be sitting at a computer in a 150 year old building, overlooking a river and hundreds of trees at the edge of autumn, in the heart of a small Maine city. Such is the meandering way of life.

If you could do anything in life, what would make you happy?

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