Saturday, 20 May 2017

What It Means To Be Successful

Success is often described in material terms. Society seems to prescribe it in terms of whether you own your own home, have a (nice) car, have a well-paid job, etc. If you don’t have a job or one that barely pays the bills, then it seems you can’t be successful according to society’s standards.

However, what matters is not how society defines success, or how your parents or friends define it. It matters how you define it. This is the only measure of success that you need to determine whether you have succeeded in life or not. It also doesn't have to be an end goal far into the future: it can be something you can achieve in any moment, over and over.

'How do I define success?' is one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves, because it can help us remain true to ourselves and true to our path when hard times arise and we have to make tough decisions. Our definitions of success change and evolve over time, because life changes and situations change as well, and our perspectives may change as a result of that. In my experience, it usually becomes simpler as we get older and wiser. We realize that success really isn’t that complicated (which doesn't mean it is always easy), and that we really don’t need that much to live a meaningful, happy and fulfilling life. We realize that it is more (or even entirely) about what happens on the inside rather than about what happens around us. That realization is success in itself - if freedom is important to you.

For me, a definition of success is only meaningful if it is something that I can achieve at any time (no matter what happens). It is about prioritizing what matters most to me at that point in time. It is always about me, because I can’t decide for others, or dictate what situations may come my way. Defining success as a personal quality that I want to develop not only makes life simpler and more enjoyable, it also helps me to see the perfection of life because everything that happens is an opportunity for me to learn and to practice. I can start over in every moment. Sometimes I fail, sometimes I succeed. It doesn't matter. I get to practice.

Have you noticed that the challenges that come to you are always the right ones? And that the people who show up in your life (and leave again) also bring you exactly what you need?

How do you measure success in your life? What does being successful mean to you?