by Rabbi Joel Padowitz
Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get.
Sukkot, known as “Time of our Happiness,” marks the crescendo of the Jewish year. Throughout the seven day festival, Jews have a Divine mandate to be completely and exclusively joyous (Deut. 16:15). That’s quite a tall order! Sure, we’d all love to be happy for seven straight days — but how?
There is much we can learn about Sukkot and the secret of happiness from Dr. James H. Clark, a man who has probably never even heard of the holiday. Jim, as his friends call him, is an entrepreneurial genius and a self-made billionaire. In 1981, he left his prestigious position as a professor of computer science at Stanford University to establish his first company, Silicon Graphics. Academia was nice, but he wanted something more. At the time he said that a fortune of $10 million would make him happy.
“Once I have more than Larry Ellison, I’ll be satisfied.” Silicon Graphics became the undisputed world leader in computer graphics technology. Things were looking good for Jim — he had attained his ten-million-dollar dream. But somehow he wasn’t satisfied. In 1994, he invested $5 million to create Netscape, an interface to access the nascent World Wide Web. At the time he said a fortune of $100 million would make him happy.
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