Having a desire to succeed in life is great. It drives us to work harder and to make the most of our abilities.  At the same time, attachment to success habituates us to equate happiness with career achievements. 

When we strive for something, we should remind ourselves that what we really want is contentment.  We may think of contentment in terms of earning making a lot of money, driving an expensive car, and winning approval from family and friends.  But these are just motivations for striving, not contentment itself. 

When we reach a new milestone in our career, we may be happy for a while, but our feelings of contentment are quickly replaced by a more powerful desire to reach the next target.  Life then becomes a state of constant craving, always grasping for something we can never reach.

Sometimes, children blame their parents for putting work before family.  They resent their parents for not being a part of their lives as they grow up.  The truth is, the parents are never present in their own lives, either.  Obviously, parents work very hard to provide for their families. 

But material support should not be used as an excuse to pursue narrow self-interests. While the parents’ hard work may benefit their children materially, the parents still act out of selfishness when they put their career before the needs of their children. 

Fortunately, career and family need not be mutually exclusive.  It is possible to maintain presence in our own lives and the lives of our loved ones as we strive for success.