Culture · Reflection · Social Behavior

On achievement, destiny and being happy

Up to age 21 our lives are all the same, if for any reason it is because they were planned very well by our parents, society and the government. We all go to the elementary school at the same age, then middle school then high school and by age 17 or 18 we start college years. And in four or five years we graduate from college. Generally speaking, regardless of how hard you worked through these years you still go to college. But then depending on your high school performance you may not be able to enroll in certain majors or study at the best universities. By age 21 we all get a Bachelor’s degree in some kind of a profession.

After earning the baccalaureate our lives start taking different directions. They no longer produce the same result according to our performance.  Each of us has his own path. Some of us find work but others don’t. Some of us travel for a better life but others don’t. Some of us marry but others don’t. And some of us continue their study but others don’t.

The more we grow older the more our lives become different, difficult to make sense of and find answer to. It doesn’t matter how much time and effort you put in a relationship, study, business venture there is always a possibility of failure. Some people finish their PhD in 3 years others in 10 years. People judge this huge difference by saying one is smarter than the other. Although this is the case in general but it is not always the reason why some people spend more years in Grad School than others. There is always a different reason for a different story. I call this reason the unknown factor.

The unknown factor plays a great role in our life. People from different backgrounds interpret the unknown factor differently. It could be God, wind, sun, luck, envy, etc. This factor is mysterious because it may alter the path of a person and makes prediction about someone’s future almost impossible. I know a girl who would fit as the dream wife. She is educated, very beautiful, came from rich and good family, and she has all the good characters you would wish to have in your wife. Yet, she is in her mid thirties and never married. I know a couple who all the pediatricians they saw told them there is no problem with any of them. Yet, after 8 years of marriage they still have no kids. I know an Arab man who has been in the US for 27 years, never been home and he is still struggling with his legal residency documents. Everyone reading this will try to find a reason behind each of these uncommon stories. We were taught that there is a reason if something doesn’t end up as we expected. Since after age 21 our lives are not the same, our achievements are not the same as well due to the unknown factor.

Unless you are in the same shoe of the person you are trying to figure out why he does what he does, it is very difficult to decipher his life. If your life’s path is different than others, people will always provide you with a solution. For example, if you reached a certain age and you are not married, then you are different and entitled for help. The problem is whatever reason you provide for not being married they always have an answer for your reason. They don’t believe in the unknown factor.  Whatever solution people will give you to your problem is usually centered on “you are not trying your best.” This solution fits every problem in life whether it is not finding a job, or not getting married, or not finishing your study. People are actually saying “others succeeded in what you are trying to achieve  why you didn’t? How hard it is to achieve what millions others achieved”

One of the biggest mistakes we do in our life is that we associate happiness with something we need to have or achieve. This is a very critical mistake because it may cause depression and in some cases suicidal thoughts or even committing suicide if what we are waiting for doesn’t happen. Unfortunately, we created a world of our own were every one of us is waiting something to happen. This anticipation of something to happen to be happy is the biggest mistake we were taught. For that reason never associate your happiness with the occurrence of something you have no control over. Because reality taught us that dreams may be shattered and projects may fail. You never know when the unknown factor will hit you. Besides, if you don’t get what you anticipated does this mean you should spend the rest of your life unhappy?

Achieving things may make us happier but for sure it will not make us happy all the time. No one is happy all the time unless he or she is brainless. There will always be ups and downs. Therefore, we should learn to be happy sometimes.


14 thoughts on “On achievement, destiny and being happy

  1. Very Interesting post Jarrad , my downs are more than up ones, some failed projects, relationships, even a failed marriage, the unknown factor for me is Allah this is my destiny that he wants me to follow, can I change it… probably, did I try.. No
    I believe the older we get the wiser we become and the happier we will be and that because we will know that happiness is not tied a good job, degree or the prefect wife…


    1. “can I change it… probably, did I try.. No” But do you know why you didn’t try?
      Don’t answer here it is a question for you to answer to yourself.
      I agree with you that the older we get the wiser we become but disagree that we become happier as well. We always remember the past as a good time.


  2. I particularly like the part where you spoke Bout the different people you know who seem thin their lives should be other than they are, yet they aren’t. It seems so human.

    Great post.


  3. what a great article! you explained to me something that made me unhappy since a while!!
    yes, some things can’t be explained and we have nothing in hand to solve it. yet ppl keeps telling u u are not “sha6er” or “mla7la7” or what ever though at the end, some ppl have their best chances regardless whether they are qualified or not.

    thanks Jarad, really now i can feel that i am not so wrong n my current life



    1. I think “Mla7la7” it is the best Jordanian translation for “you are not doing your best”. I have been told this word many times 🙂
      I am glad that this post made you feel better. Thanks for sharing!


  4. Yeah we always look for the next thing / stage that will make us happy. If we are single, we think getting married will get us happy. If we are making 5000, we think making 6000 will make us happier. If we are in school, we think that getting out will fulfill us. And on and on. We have to recognize that moving to the next stage might not make us more fulfilled or happier. It is just another stage – how we feel inside depends on us whatever the situation we are in. Some people living in slums might be happier than those living in bungalows because of the way they view life.


    1. That’s right!
      I guess my problem is that I have been in the same phase for a long time and I just need a change 🙂


  5. “One of the biggest mistakes we do in our life is that we associate happiness with something we need to have or achieve.”
    perfectly timed reminder!
    thank u


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