Would having a "name" as illustrious and beautiful as Nikolai Stepanovich's give you satisfaction at the end of your life?.
Having a name as well respected as Nikolai Stepanovich's when a person dies will satisfy most people, however, happiness is what myself and most individuals seek. A person can accomplish many things in their life; however, all of these accomplishments do not mean anything if happiness does not result from these accomplishments. No matter how successful my life may turn out or how well known I am, how happy I am when I die will determine whether or not I"m gratified.
The only determining factor of whether or not I will be satisfied at the end of my life is happiness, because without happiness life was just pointless. A person can work and study as much as possible to succeed, and they may accomplish this, yet this does not mean that you will be happy with your life. A person's life is so much bigger than just a "name". Nikolai had a very well respected name, but he was not happy with his life. It was "dull". "Now there is no one for him to be friends with, but if one speaks of the past, the long list of his distinguished acquaintances comes to an end with such names as Pirogov, Kealenin, and the poet Nekrasov." Nikolai had no friends in his life except for the well know individuals that he read about. What kind of life is that? Living a life without friends and love ones who are appreciative and respectful may create a morose feeling. Who wants to live a depressed life? .
It's your prerogative to seek happiness in your life. Its alright to endeavor to succeed; however, this should not be the most important aspect of your life. Do not constrain yourself in a situation that you do not want to be in, such as Nikolai died. He found himself entrapped in a marriage that he did not want to be in, which in return, created a life full of misery. So, seek happiness in your life and satisfaction is inevitable.