What do you consider to be the ultimate return on investment? It differs from person to person, and as Austin Zelan puts it, the ultimate return on investment is happiness. Now, Austin is not discounting all other returns; he is simply explaining that the ultimate goal of other returns is to lead to happiness.
As an authority in the digital media industry, Austin has made investments over the years, and he has realized that it’s not just about building wealth and growing your business. He says that if you’re wealthy and miserable, your investments haven’t truly paid off.
Zelan also mentions that wealth is not a measure of happiness. It doesn’t automatically mean you’re happy because you’re wealthy. Instead, Austin highlights wealth as a key component of happiness.
Let’s paint a picture here; you keep buying things that you don’t care for just to show off to your friends or strangers online. According to Austin, this speaks to a lack of happiness and fulfilment in what you’ve achieved. It is not wrong if you want to have the best of everything globally, but does it make you happy?
The ultimate measure of success is the fulfilment and not money. You should love what you do enough that even if it doesn’t bring wealth, you are blissfully content to be doing it. Austin stresses the importance of a happy life over a wealthy life.
Not to say that wealth isn’t good to have, but don’t peg your life on materialism. Austin shares that most people are stuck in jobs they can’t stand because of the money. Most people don’t live up to their full potential for this reason.
To further explain this, Zelan mentions the common assumption that pleasure is happiness. Most people are lost in momentary pleasure and mistake that for happiness. Zelan clarifies that pleasure is short-lived; you will feel relieved or even excited for a short while, and then it’ll go away, leaving a void that you’ll try to fill with more material items.
To add to this, Zelan says that happiness grants you the freedom to decide what you want to achieve each day. Small everyday things can bring you the contentment you dream of, and instead of just dreaming, you should pursue it.
The ultimate payoff that all your efforts in life can grant you is true happiness in what you’ve built, who you’ve become and where you’re going.