Captain Dapper On: Success, Happiness & Living Your Dream
How a Post on Slate Helped Me Shift My Views on Success & Failure

Captain Dapper has taken a lot of risks in life. Some of these risks have worked out, some of them have been disasters. The common thread that runs through all of these risky situations is that I was willing to take the chance at failure in order to find my happiness.

As you may have read in my little biographical post last week, I've spent a great deal of my adult life reaching for happiness. When I launched a handbag line I had no real experience running a small business and my designs were still in the experimental phase. And yet I was confident that, while I may not get rich with my designs, I was going to be happy. I knew this because I had recognized that I am happiest when I am creating. 

Of course, having my own business was not all sunshine and rainbows. There was a lot of stress involved in growing a small business. On a day to day basis, however, I was quite content because I was sitting at my sewing machine creating bags that people loved. 

I recently walked away from a job with a high income because I couldn't find my happiness there. The environment felt toxic, my creativity was being squashed and it felt like my future would be more promising if I struck out on my own. 

I awoke this morning with a sense of panic. One of those what have I done? moments. And then, as if the gods were trying to cheer me up, I saw a link on Facebook to this comic on Slate. Gavin Aung Than, who blogs at Zen Pencils, illustrated a quote from Calvin & Hobbes creator Bill Watterson’s 1990 speech at Kenyon College. It was just what I needed, right when I needed it. Watterson's words (and Than's illustration) are a reminder that happiness wins out over financial success. It's also a great reminder that success comes in many forms. I may not be as financially secure as I was when I was employed full time, but I am a happier, healthier and more productive person. That, in the end, is the truly important thing in life.

Image: Excerpt from Slate

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