What Is Success?
Lately I have found myself obsessed with the notion of “success.” What is it? Do I have it? Am I happy with it? There are so many questions I can think of. But yesterday, I ran across the picture with the motivational phrase that you see above. It says, “Success Is a Journey, Not a Destination.” It's a simple picture with a basic phrase, yet it sums up what I truly think about success. Lots of people talk about it; yet, I wonder if they are clear about what their unique definition of success is.
Let’s think about success as a destination. From what I hear, when I have general conversation with folks, most tend to think that success is a specific station in life. They make comments like, “I know I’ve made it when I get that car” or “I will know that I am successful when I live in that kind of house.” They might even say, “I will be a complete success when I get that job, and I have that spouse with that type of family.” All of those acquisitions only serve as indicators for reaching goals that you have set for yourself in life. However, when many people attain their goals, a great sense of emptiness then wells up inside of them. “What do I do now?” they ask. “I attained what I said I would, so what’s next?” Despair then comes along, and sometimes this despair leads to destructive behaviors. Even though most people consider the wealthiest people in the world “successful,” I guarantee you that many of those rich and powerful people still live in misery. Their lives may be riddled with rich peoples' problems while they are positioned exactly where they thought they wanted to be in life. And it is a travesty that they have worked so very hard to be there. Now don’t get me wrong, there are many happy and rich people. But listen to their stories. They are the ones who have learned how to find happiness within themselves beyond the attainment of their riches. They have done the work to become spiritually grounded and selfless (not selfish) as well.
Now let’s think about success as a journey. I sometimes hear people say, “I am working so hard, but I love it.” Maybe sometimes they say, “I have major deadlines to accomplish with this task, and I have this goal to achieve, and that task, and that goal to accomplish; but I’m having a blast!” When people finally figure out what they truly are passionate about, and then work really hard at making their achievements directly align with their passion (and purpose), then they make exciting statements like those. To these people, success is about continually making their dreams come true, not necessarily making acquisitions for status quo.
I personally believe that success lies where the soul is happy.
I believe that when you figure out your life’s purpose, and you begin to align your energy with your natural gifts and talents, then success arises.
This success is not forced. At first it begins as an uncomfortable heat. You begin to do things and experiment with your talents, not fully knowing if the world or your peers will accept them. The heat intensifies, and you exert more energy into following your passion and showing others what you have to offer. Then the water boils, and the steam spews from the pot. You begin to not really care about what others think. You have talents and passion that you are now confident in embracing. So you do exactly that! You embrace them, regardless of those who say, “You can’t.” They make you stronger, but your encouragers keep you grounding and tinder-hearted at all times. Despite any battle wounds you may have received, they are there to make you feel better. So then, there is a full blaze of fire! You are happy! You love what you are doing! Sure the money rolls in, but that’s only half the measure of your success. The rest of your success hinges on you living your dream. You may work long hours and maybe even around the clock, but it’s okay! Why? Because you love it! And you are happy doing it. You are successful!
The bottom line is that forced success is miserable success. And perhaps miserable success is not success at all. The best achievements that come from following your passion are the ones that naturally precipitate from your labors.
We all have different ways of viewing success, but I encourage everyone reading this blog post to not view success as “Keeping up with the Jones’” or working yourself to a pulp to maintain what you think is a “successful” salary. Instead, I encourage you to strike a balance to turn your passion and unique talents into a success story. Go on your personal journey to learn what will truly make you happy as you strive to set yourself apart from the rest. This will be hard at times, but the benefits are spectacular. You will learn to love yourself. You will learn to treasure your gifts and attain a self-confidence that is not boastful, but helpful. You will be ready to solve any problem, work with any person, or build anything you must to make your goals reality! It is often our unique capabilities that make us the most marketable. But that requires introspection, not comparison to others, to truly tap into the potential that we all have within us. This journey is one that we all do not have to take, but the road is always there to travel should we choose to do so. Are you ready?
I’m still on my personal journey. Do I believe that I am successful? Yes. Is there more to accomplish? Heck, Yes! Will you come along with me? Well, that’s up to you. Until next time!
DBrought to you by:
Daymond E. Lavine