Society defines success in a weird manner. It is really f-ed up. Most people have this random goal in their head, that if achieved, would be the definition of success for them. So many of us believe that when or if we become millionaires, we will finally have that life that we dream of. One million dollars is that elusive and awesome goal that so many of us aspire to.
I had the same random goal placed in my head by society that I used to gauge how successful I was. It was really odd when one day I realized I could live my ideal life on much, much less. When I realized my ideal life costs about $5000 CAD a month, sometimes even less, that’s when my entire idea of success and what it means shifted.
My definition of success has shifted drastically over the past few years. Slowly but surely, I have realized that success means something entirely different to me, than it did ten years ago, or five years ago. My values shifted over time. Success has as well changed over time.
In my head, most people are chasing the wrong kind of success. They have been told so many times that success means a certain amount of money, whatever that amount might be. But once they reach that goal, they realize that they are still not satisfied, because that wasn’t what was truly important to them. Or they always feel dissatisfied because they are chasing a success goal that is completely opposite to their values.
Success Is Confusing Enough
Why is success so important? I think that’s the first question we all need to ask. Why are we chasing success with such fervency? Why is that the only mark of a great human being. Why does that matter so much in our world?
What if someone were not successful, but saved a 100 lives in their lifetime? Would they be successful? What about a person who writes 10 books in his lifetime? But never achieves a modicum of success or any income from said books while he’s alive? He didn’t make any money from it, but he did what he loved. Is he successful?
I could go on and on with the examples, but I think you get the idea.
There are a couple of things that are weird here. First of all, why is our entire society focused so much on success as a goal, rather than happiness, or kindness, or generosity, or joy, or connection? Second of all, why is there such a limited definition of success. Success means one or two things, and that’s all. We all have to comply with that definition or we are failures, even if we are the happiest people on the planet, or we have the best relationships in the world.
Success Is Hard To Define
Success is so hard to define, I believe, because we keep on using other people’s definition of success to define success for ourselves.
I fell into that success trap for a long time, and it had an adverse effect on me, because I never felt successful no matter what I did. I kept on looking outside of myself to check whether I was successful or not. As soon as I did that, no matter how happy I was, I saw that I was unsuccessful according to society’s standards. In fact, I was a big fat failure.
What a shock to me, when I was actually living my ideal life. A joyous and connected life. But I wasn’t a success. Yikes! What a blow to the life that I had set up.
Own Your Successful Ways
As soon as I stopped looking outside for the definition of success, I realized that I was successful in my own way. I owned it, and I loved it. I didn’t care what other people thought about it. I didn’t worry about what others were going to say when they saw my ratty clothes, or my non-upgraded wardrobe or lack of a partner or lack of a big financial portfolio. All I cared about was that I was a success according to my own meagre definition.
As soon as I decided what my definition of success is, and started believing in it, with all of my heart, I didn’t have to worry about anything else anymore. No one else mattered.
Even when people nowadays try to sway me from my path, I have the solidity in my own definition to realize they are just tests from the universe. Sent to me to make me believe in my path even more.
Everyone’s Definition Of Success Should Be Astronomically Different
The reality is that if we are all freaking unique human beings, then our definition of success should be different. Entirely different.
Unique beings like us, cannot have similar definitions of success. It’s just a statistical improbability. It doesn’t make any sense. If we have different genes, different experiences, different lives, different interests, different aspirations, and different goals, then our success will look different as well.
It is ridiculous to believe that we can mould our lives and our success patterns to someone else out there. The only thing that will cause is misery, which it does in a lot of people.
If your definition of success is at all close to anyone else out there, then I think you are doing something wrong. I am not saying that there won’t be parts of it that will look similar. But the entire thing should not be a carbon copy.
What If We Decided We Are Successes Right Now? Define Success Differently…
Here’s a radical thought. What if we decided to make our bar of success ridiculously low and decided that we are successful right now as we are, without any changes, or upgrades?
What would that look like to us? What if we decided that success wasn’t a mountain far, far away? But we are all successful just because we are alive, and we made it. Out of the 200 million sperms that could have made it, yours was the only one that made it.
C’mon, that is something to celebrate, isn’t it?
Let’s decide we are successful right now no matter who we are, or where we are. And let’s keep on going from there. It doesn’t mean we just give up and don’t do anything from now on. But why does success always have to be such an elusive, horrible wait? Why can’t it just be here right now, within our reach?
I think it would be a different place we would all live from, if we were all successful right now, striving for something beyond success.