The above quote comes from the incomparable Maya Angelou, and because it represents profound wisdom, it is therefore something that deserves our contemplation upon. For instance, America is in many respects, a highly competitive capitalistic country, in which, each day we are inundated with all sorts of advertisements, come-ons, and enticements that encourage us to spend our time seeking, as well as ultimately spending our money upon material things, for the message of that medium, is that these material things, will bring us happiness.
Therefore, a significant part of the incentive for those that are making a real living, is the indoctrinated belief of the need to have certain material things in order to therefore be satisfied and happy. Yet, despite the fact that never have so many had so much, the amount of happiness and satisfaction in America, is actually not that high in which, as reported by time.com, in 2017, "only 33% of Americans surveyed said they were happy."
So then, as important as it may seem to be to make a good living, such will not, in and of itself, necessarily produce satisfaction and happiness. Perhaps this is so, because material things, even material things of the highest and nicest quality, are in the end, not going to be something that ever will successfully substitute for our innate need for good human interaction and companionship. That is to say, those that actually do make a good life, get their priorities correct, and understand that life isn’t really about keeping up with the Joneses, but rather life is actually about meaningful relationships with other people, that involve real commitments in time, compassion, giving, caring, and sincere concern.
Far too many people get far too involved in the making of money, or in the advancement of their career; or for others, they get far too involved into drugs that dull their minds and their senses; so that when these people finally find the time to reflect upon their life, and to clearly look upon the status of who and what they really are, and especially in reference to who and what they really could and ought to be, they will often come to the realization that they actually have their priorities wrong, no matter, their good intent that they may have had in the first place.
It is important to have a balanced life, so that, it is often a mistake in focusing upon a particular goal, if in so doing, this apparently necessitates the marginalization of those that we are closest to, in order to achieve that goal, for this is then going to be ultimately perceived as a pyrrhic achievement. Because when we have trivialized and upset the very people that we are closest to and care for the most, and somehow, don't even really know these people at a level which is actually meaningful or insightful, we have sacrificed what is immeasurable for something that is ultimately transitory and not nearly as highly valued as our perception or ambition, so thought.
Those that have made a good life, as compared to those that have exclusively made a good living, are separated by a chasm, which represents on the one hand all those that have found true and lasting fulfillment by being that good neighbor and being that good friend, as opposed to all those others that though surrounded by nice material things that supposedly represent a good life, actually have not made a good life, and aren’t likely to ever have one.