The question of whether it's better to strive for happiness or a sense of meaning when undertaking a large endeavor, such as starting a business or climbing the career ladder, is subjective and can vary from person to person. Both happiness and a sense of meaning are valuable and important aspects of life, and they can complement each other.
Happiness: Pursuing happiness means seeking pleasure, joy, and positive emotions in your endeavors. When you prioritize happiness, you focus on actions and goals that bring immediate gratification and contentment. This can lead to a more enjoyable and fulfilling day-to-day experience.
Sense of Meaning: Striving for a sense of meaning involves pursuing activities and goals that align with your values, passions, and a sense of purpose. It goes beyond momentary happiness and involves finding significance and fulfillment in the pursuit of long-term goals or contributing to something greater than yourself.
The right approach for you will depend on your individual values, personality, and life circumstances. Some people find great satisfaction and happiness in pursuing a meaningful purpose, even if it involves facing challenges and setbacks. For them, the sense of fulfillment derived from their work or mission outweighs any momentary happiness.
Others may prioritize happiness and well-being in their pursuits. They may seek balance in life, valuing positive emotions and contentment in their daily activities, even if the overall endeavor might not have a grand sense of meaning.
Ideally, a combination of both happiness and meaning is desirable. When your large endeavors align with your values and bring you joy and fulfillment along the way, you are more likely to sustain motivation and overcome obstacles.
Ultimately, introspection and self-awareness can help you determine which approach is more suitable for you. Ask yourself what truly matters to you, what brings you joy, and what you believe contributes to a meaningful life. Often, finding a balance between happiness and meaning can lead to a more well-rounded and satisfying life journey.