What success means to you might be different from what it means to me or other people, and this is perfectly fine. However, it is scary when we start thinking that success is all about power, position and possessions.
Typically, success in this day and age includes fame, money, power, status, marriage (or rather, wedding) and after those comes the word ‘happiness’. We put on a pedestal people who are famous, drive expensive cars, live in big houses. We look up to people who have money and they get our respect without effort especially if they are married with kids (because in this society of ours, even married people have not quite succeeded until they have children).
The standards are high. I get why. It’s quite obvious really, we are attracted to the idea of having it all. But what disappoints me is that in this sick society of ours, we have told people that it’s not enough to be themselves if being themselves doesn’t include being famous, or having money. And don’t get me started on the issue of singleness. People seem to have forgotten that getting married is a choice and so is being single.
Have you looked at the magazine covers in our country lately? It’s all about who’s who, who they are dating or married to, where they live, what they drive – as if these things define who they are.
It is no wonder success is elusive. It is no wonder people are not content with themselves.
I am by no means implying that we should lower our standards where success is concerned, but rather, we need to raise our standards when it comes to success. We need to be real. We need to teach people that success starts with being yourself, running your own race, in your own pace, not copying what someone else is doing.
We need to know what success really is, after all, we can’t all be famous, rich or married, but we can all be successful at the things we were destined to be if we pursue our purpose.
We need to find our own definition of success.
There’s no need to compete. No need to try to fit in in someone else’s idea of what success is or should be. Do the thing you were born to do and do it well.
I love this passage by Emerson:
To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived—this is to have succeeded.