We live in a time where success is defined in innumerable ways. Deeply rooted in our psyche is the struggle of the ego. This struggle makes us look inwards and always find ourselves wanting. No matter how much we gain, nothing seems to be enough. The outward response to this is self-depreciation, self-deprivation and arrogance. We spend a great deal of time comparing ourselves to others either consciously or subconsciously, and we borne within our hearts fear and insecurity; failing to see our own value in the process. We wonder why people accept us, and others reject us. The desire for love and respect when denied leaves us wounded and longing. Thus the need for a successful life. This life will then incorporate us into the society and make us feel accepted, irrespective of our race and background.
For too long, our world has measured success incorrectly. We have championed, promoted and followed some wrong people along the way and judged others on the heaviness of their salary packages, eloquence of speech, model of cars they use and their neighborhood of residence. We have focused on the wrong things and have made terribly awful judgments along the way. Are these people truly successful, or they have just found ways to taint the windscreen that exposes us to the clarity of life?
How do you define success? Growing up, I equated money and power with success and for a long time, this has framed my mind. Go through school and get educated. Chase money, power and fame and eventually call yourself a successful man. You could write a couple of best-sellers in the process narrating how you accrued such wealth, self-actualized and got to the top. However with time, things have changed. I have realized not everyone gets to the top. As different as our fingers are, so are our lives. Success is therefore a very personal thing. What drives one person may be different for another, and understanding how others measure success can help you better understand your own definition.
Success is achieving what you have set out to do. This definition of success starts to shape more of an internal feeling, a sense of purpose rather than the pursuit of accolades. This includes getting the job you have always wanted, getting accepted into college and the achievement of inner peace. Success comes only by persevering despite failure. The true measure of success is how many times you can bounce back from failure. Winston Churchill defines success as “Walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” This means you have to go ahead and make the mistakes. Don’t be discouraged when you fail because it gets low before it gets high. When you make mistakes, mount your head high and learn from them.
Success is not only found in great achievements, but also in small daily tasks. You don’t need groundbreaking and spectacular performances before you announce your presence in the world of success, but even the small affairs of daily life can make you successful. I personally keep a diary in which I write my goals for the day. Immediately I’m done accomplishing a goal, I cross the task out as done. This delivers a huge endorphin boost no matter how minute and inconsequential the task is. It is my desire to become successful to live my true purpose and have a positive impact on the lives of people by uplifting them and inspiring them, by working and treating each day as a gift with a destination in mind.
“There is nothing quite as useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all” – Peter Drucker.
A metric is defined as a system or standard of measurement. Being able to achieve a success metric is hard, but knowing which metric to achieve is important. Choose your own metric for success and personally discover what you value. The thing is you will end up flowing with the current of the culture around you if you don’t choose a suitable metric for success. Don’t feel like a failure just because you don’t meet someone else’s metric, but strive to build yours and give yourself the kudos when you achieve this benchmark.
Luckily for us, personal success is not a matter of background, intelligence or native ability, but the capacity to get the very best out of ourselves under almost all conditions and circumstances. This defines our ability to adapt to the present circumstances and tailor them to change our lives for good. Don’t just measure immediate tangible results to define success but consider what you have learnt in the long term and how it will help you achieve success in the future.
People have contemplated the role of luck in being successful. Even though luck can contribute to success regardless of what anyone tells you, no successful person is just lucky. Luck provides you with a good start and puts you on the right pedestal to start your journey to success, but the fuel needed to continue this journey is hard work. A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.
Good health is one factor that should not be underestimated when mentioning the determinants of success. The enjoyment of life is at best incomplete in poor health. In our part of the continent, some people are unable to eat the choicest of foods when they get successful, because of an underlying health condition. When starting out your journey, remember to take good care of your health because good health renders your performance adequate, and the more you perform, the greater your chances of success. A healthy lifestyle improves productivity. This reduces absenteeism and results in an individual having improved job evaluations and opportunities for advancement and future employment. That being said, your mental health should not be exempted because being optimistic has a self-fulfilling effect in propelling you towards success.
There are several common measures of success by society definitions today. Money and material possessions are a rather universal equivalent of success. This assumption carries many flaws because it sees them as a goal in itself and not a consequence of your achievements. With wealth comes popularity and these are external measures of success. This can be seen in the lives of famous entrepreneurs, writers and actors. However, there is a whole universe of success definitions which are invisible, can’t be easily measured and are highly personalized. External measures of success are flawed because they were created by someone else, so faring our achievements against these artificial standards means we evaluate ourselves against a bar someone else created.
It makes more sense to measure success according to our own ruler – whether we find what we do meaningful to us, whether it helps other’s lives improve and whether we have more happy memories than regrets at the end of our lives.
So a meaningful life and success have nothing to do with wealth, fame and the number of expensive cars one has. It has everything to do with working on what makes us happy, surrounding ourselves with the people who bring love and warmth to our lives and leading lives that make sense to us. The search formula for success is found in one word. Contentment. The truth is the more you live in contentment, the more productive and fulfilled you will be, and you will live in greater success as the masterpiece you were created to be.
Thanks for reading