For many, success is some form of material achievement in the world, for others, it is recognition and applause, for some others, it is the journey that generates satisfaction of success. Yet others avoid pursuit of success altogether for fear of failure.
What does success mean to me?
Is it simply getting an admission to Ivy school, or getting a great job, award won, mountain climbed, target hit, or leaving a legacy behind?
Whatever you believe “success” to be will have a profound influence on your life. If you were to follow the predominant mindset in the world today then success would likely be measured by acquisition. The more you have the more successful you are. For most of us, the success tends to be context specific such as sporting success or success in business, academics, science, politics, religion, spirituality, etc.
However, if we don’t contemplate this question deeply then it’s likely we will blindly follow others ideas and measures of success, usually learned in childhood, craved in youth and pursued into our adult years.
When we take time out, however, and reflect on what exactly personal success is, we may notice a deepening of our awareness; awareness of our inner success and we may realize that personal success comes in ways that we seldom recognize as signs of success!
Inner success looks and feels more like the capability than the success and enables us:
- To act with total honesty and integrity thus generating a clear conscience without which the authentic happiness that we call contentment is impossible.
- To remain peaceful and stable when all around you are in crisis or chaos.
- To value what you are more than what you have.
- To accept full responsibility for all thoughts, feelings, words and actions.
- To be able to see past the mistakes of others and focus on their inherent strengths.
- To be able to let go of the past.
- To give without the desire for anything in return.
So before you set on the path to contextual success, reflect on what success really means to you. It will of course generate many other questions such as what is the purpose of my life. What do I value? But when it comes to this unique and special journey called life, there is a time when the asking ‘right questions’ is much more important than having the right answers.
Question: What does success mean to you?
Reflection: Why do you think your definition of success might be challenging to achieve (scribble some notes to yourself)
Action: Initiate a conversation sometime this week with friends, family or colleagues and ask them what success means to them.
Adapted from Mike George’s article “What is Success for YOU?” © 2012