This I Believe

Aaron - Norman, Oklahoma
Entered on January 31, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

At the age of thirty-three, was an entrepreneur and invested all his money into stocks and spent his whole life trying to get there. Tom had everything you could imagine. For years all the stocks Tom invested in were always on top until one day. That one day, Tom lost all he had. His money wasn’t the only thing he lost, but his wife, and reputation that was built over the years. Now, at the age of thirty-six, Tom went from living a luxurious life in his mansion to being homeless on the streets of Chicago. He went everyday not knowing when his next meal would come or where to sleep. Tom became depressed and started to develop hatred for everyone because the people Tom did know, only cared about what he had. But one day Tom was walking the streets and saw a sign for free food. Not knowing where he was going, he opened the doors and walked into what he thought was a meeting. He didn’t have anywhere else to go, so he decided to stay. The speaker spoke about how people’s happiness comes from success. Also, how those people work so hard to become successful because they think it will make them happy and when they lose the money, they lose the people they know too because their friendship and reputation is based on materials. At that moment Tom felt pricked in his heart, fell to his knees and wept. After that day, Tom’s impression of the world changed and felt as if he looked through new eyes. Tom now has picked his life up and is a motivational speaker that travels and speaks at seminars about how money, material things or success will not make one happy.

Just like Tom now believes, I believe that success is not the key to happiness but happiness is the key to success. I can have all everything in this world and inside feel unhappy just as Tom once did. Research indicates that money, intelligence, youth and education do not make people happy. Research has also proven that the things that do make us happy are friends, family, religious faith, contributing to others and making a difference. In this story, Tom’s happiness was in his possessions. But people need more than materials, they need love and acceptance. This message needs to be spread to everyone because there are millions of people that are just like Tom, happy only because of success and others that are trying to become successful so they think they can become happy. In this story Tom realized the genuine meaning of happiness through tribulation. So it is important to appreciate who and what we have because success is not the key to happiness but happiness is the key to success.