We all want to be more successful. So what does being successful mean? Success can have many different definitions depending on your perspective and culture.
Many people in a western capitalistic culture automatically jump to thinking of success as relating to monetary wealth, fame and power. The richer, more powerful and more famous you are the more successful, right? Not necessarily. With wealth and notoriety normally comes some negative “cost”. Working in a well paid job usually involves a great deal of stress and long hours as well as a huge burden of responsibility, family members often fight over financial matters and fame and power usually entail yourself and your loved ones being harassed by the media.
Success penetrates into many other often more important aspects of our lives; the quality of our relationships with loved ones and ourselves, our physical health and levels of fitness, our mental well being including levels of happiness and it is all greatly affected by our depth of sense of purpose and spiritual beliefs about the bigger picture of what we really think life is all about.
While most of us would like to be wealthy I think it’s time to expand our view of success. Success should incorporate aspects of health and well-being, having our actions guided by an inner calmness and wisdom of and for the greater good, approaching life with enthusiasm and being present in the moment. Research shows that we are at our happiest when we give rather than receive.
Success emanates from people who have found their passion in life and experience it regularly. They feel fulfilled and highly energised with a desire to give back to society of not just their finances but also their time.
I have always found it paradoxical that in a “free” society where we can do whatever we choose (without harming others of course) that we have no conscious control over what we actually feel passionate and excited about. This can be a great guide to help mould your life to become more fulfilling and hence more successful. Ask yourself what truly inspires and motivates you. The answers to this question can help clarify what success means to each individual and what we wish to look back on from our death bed. Quite a confronting but very effective thought process to do regularly to ensure that your life is on track.
Wanting success isn’t enough, to attain it as with many things in life you get back what you give. Acheiving a holistic version of success requires looking at all aspects of your life; eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising, connecting with yourself through stress reduction programs such as yoga meditation and mindfulness, putting down the i-pad and spending time with your family and nature. Consider doing volunteer work with people less fortunate than yourselves, this is a sure way to fast track feeling grateful. Forcing yourself to focus, do one thing at a time. This helps you to become truly present giving each moment of your life a fresh new invigorating quality.
Success in its many various forms is there to be had by everyone. If you want more love, give more love. If you want to be appreciated more, truly appreciate others. Be your own success story and see the change in the world.
By Dr Elen ApThomas