What is your definition of success? How do you feel about it? How do you go about measuring up to your own definition?
Perhaps you have never spent the time to even focus on what all this mean to you personally.
But let’s say someone walked up to you and asked you these questions, do you think you will have the answers right away or is it something you will have to think about?
What would your response be?
While we can all agree that there are many definitions and models of success, no doubt by the standards we have established for ourselves; to some people, the epitome of being a success in life is based strictly on earning a lot of money and being in a position of power and control.
Well if you are one of the persons who believe that success is simply about making and having lots of money, power and control, you may be setting up yourself already for failure. Yes, that’s right!
You may find yourself with a lot of money but at the end of the day, I can guarantee, you will be bothered by many problems, you will be stressed out and honestly, you will be pretty darn miserable.
The True Meaning of Success
According to BusinessDictionary.com, success may be defined in two ways
1. Achievement of an action within a specified period of time or within a specified parameter. Success can also mean completing an objective or reaching a goal. It can be achieved within the workplace, or in an individual’s personal life.
2. Colloquial term used to describe a person that has achieved his or her personal, financial or career goals. It could be used to describe an individual that has more objects (money or any other desirable item) relative to another individual.
Success is a journey that includes different steps and stages throughout one’s life.
I also believe that real success comes through much sacrifice, continued labor and watchfulness. It’s a commitment. There is no fast track when it comes to success. We must be willing to persevere and struggle on even when we meet up with hardship and adversity.
Here is another thing about success. It is not the tangible things that we can see, touch, or even consume as the case may be. I look at success from the perspective of the intangible, which directs us to having the right attitude about life in general.
You and I are bound to succeed when we apply the virtue of wisdom to our decision-making processes in life. When people fail to apply wisdom, terrible decisions are made – not so much that they have a low intelligence quotient, but a lack of wisdom.
The true meaning of success is having a strong spiritual, emotional and physical well-being.
I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home is in shambles.” ~ Zig Ziglar
A Case in Point of How I Fell Short with Success
I vowed some years ago that I will live a long, healthy, prosperous and successful life. But recently some things began to happen that forced me to do some serious self-introspection, to look at certain practices and even look at some of the things that I had been eating.
I was diagnosed back in 2008 with Hypertension and have been on medication ever since. With that as an underlying factor, the doctor quickly explained to me that I needed to shed those extra pounds. I agreed.
In 2013, I went back to the same doctor for my annual check-up. Sadly, I had failed miserably! Instead of taking off the weight, I had gained 13 pounds more. Why?
I made no effort to do the exercise as I had agreed to. I was still making poor choices when it came to what I was eating. Then it finally hit me, while other things may have been going right in my life, I could not consider myself a total success because
- I had failed to exercise wisdom in the decision-making process as to what I ate
- My attitude towards my health was wrong
- My thoughts with wanting to live long were out of alignment with my actions or lack of it.
- I would not succeed at my dream of living long if I made no effort to do what was right to be a success.
Redefining Success in the 21st Century
In her speech at Smith in Northampton, Mass., Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post told graduates not to settle just for breaking through glass ceilings, but to change the system by “going to the root of what’s wrong.”
Her words made even more sense to me as it relates to one’s definition of success when she further stated;
“Don’t buy society’s definition of success,” she said. “Because it’s not working for anyone. It’s not working for women, it’s not working for men, it’s not working for polar bears, it’s not working for cicadas that are apparently about to emerge and swarm us. It’s only truly working for those who make pharmaceuticals for stress, diabetes, heart disease, sleeplessness and high blood pressure.”
You can read Arianna Huffington’s speech, “Redefining Success: The Third Metric”
Charting the Course for Success in 10 Simple Steps
1. Make peace with your past
Making peace with your past is about self-mastery and not allowing your past negative experiences to have power and control over you. We have all had bad experiences but we should never allow those things to define who we are or for those experiences to determine the level of success that is already measured out for us to have in life.
2. Train yourself to think like an optimist
Thinking like an optimist puts you in a position to not only conceive the vision, ideas and strategies that would lead you to success, but to give birth to them in the spiritual realm long in advance of them even manifesting in the natural earthly realm.
Think and believe those things that are not as though they already exist.
3. Engage yourself frequently in positive self-talk
Positive self-talk can have huge impacts about how you feel about yourself on a daily basis. Consistently thinking that you are a huge success and speaking the words that line up with your thoughts will eventually lead you to be a success.
4. Surround yourself with those on the same mission as you
This goes without saying. You want to be a success; you must surround yourself with the people that are already successful. Learn from them and grow alongside them.
You want to be a top blogger, you must then surround yourself with the finest and best there is out there. You want to be a good writer and move on to writing and publishing your book, and then you must be in the company of good writers and those who have already authored and published books.
5. Develop the habit of reading
Reading a wide variety of books, magazines and online articles about the subject gives you a good idea of what others are saying and doing to bring about success into their own lives. Reading is a great way to keep you informed and enlightened while it helps to keep your mind sharp.
6. Maintain a daily or weekly journal
You would need to document your ideas, thoughts and your plans. List your goals then develop steps and chart the course of how you will go about accomplishing them.
7. Continuously and consistently express gratitude for all that you have
Gratitude is arguably the king of happiness, contentment and success.
8. Practice compassion and the willingness to give back
Kindness and compassion goes a long way. Be willing to give back to others what you yourself have received. Engage yourself in community activities. Lend a helping hand wherever it is needed.
Help those that are less fortunate than you. Make certain that they feel loved and cared for.
9. Be constant and precise with your purpose
Everyone has a purpose in life. Ask yourself these questions, “have I done something today that improved the world? Have I acted in private with the same integrity that I exhibited in public?”
Doing what you have been created to do and fulfilling your purpose is ultimately the secret plan to success.
“Real success means creating a life of meaning through service that fulfills your reason for being here.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
Over to you
In addition to the opening questions in this post, in what areas of life do you already feel like a success? What role do you think that money, position, friends and happiness in life play in success? Do you think that integrity, honesty, values and morals should also be considered as marks of identification or measures in one’s life as it relates to success?
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