People around the world frequently talk about success. Everyone wants to be successful irrespective of their background. From a small school going child to a business magnate, everyone is running after success. They look for various ways to get their desired success. And once they achieve one thing, set a target for another but bigger than the previous one. We all keep on chasing after success without taking even a little break to ponder about its real meaning.
The world is being bombarded with tones of success stories of the people from each and every nook and corner of this planet and that also with rocket speed. Is it right to thoughtlessly consume these success-story contents for getting inspired to follow the same path in the mere hope that it would ultimately lead to success? And that also without getting down to the nitty-gritty of the stories.
Surely not! Unless you just want a dose of dopamine which makes you feel good for the moment you go through those stories.
So, let’s start figuring out the real meaning of success and look for the scope of redefining it from your own perspective.
The general perception about success
Just reflect back in your memory lane and try to recollect the scene in which you were first introduced to the term “success”. Try to remember – what success meant to be? – in your first lesson about success.
Take a few minutes and try to figure it out.
Most probably it would have been the lesson of getting the best grades in school to get admitted to one of the top colleges. And in college, you may have learned to be among top rankers so that you can get placement in one of the top companies in the world.
After stepping out of the golden stage of our life – the student life – we tend to choose one of the only two options available to us. The first is to continue being a slave throughout life by working under someone. The second is to start our own start-up and to make others work under us as slaves. And the irony here is – we forget the pain of slavery and torture which we use to face when we work under others and start giving the same pain when we switch from the role of an employee to the role of employer.
The next steps include accumulating tons of wealth in terms of bank balance, luxury cars, house, and all the latest advanced technology-packed gadgets. The list doesn’t end here. It’s a never-ending marathon of being tagged as a successful person.
The print, as well as the digital media, are full of the picture-perfect success stories of people from all walks of life. It feels so good and rewarding to consume such made-for-inspiration contents that we completely escape from going into details of those perfect and happy ending stories.
We are so much flooded with these one-click away stories that it becomes not less than an addiction.
And this feel-good experience of success has been in part a hangover from our schooldays. And these are the days when our surroundings leave a long-lasting impression in our mind which ultimately reflects through our behavioral attitude towards any aspect of life. Now, the question arises – what is the prevailing core concept of our society about success and what will be the consequences if we fail to come out of this addiction?
Can we deny the fact that…?
…that we are living in the age of materialistic culture
… that we are the products of a global society that defines success in terms of material achievement.
…that we have a deep craving for experiencing instant and short-lived happiness which comes after getting a material or a title.
…that we are well aware of the fact that “get rich quick” or “get quick success” methods do not exist at all in the real world but still we let ourselves be fooled by the claims to empower us to earn more money and become successful beyond our wildest dreams.
…that our education system has become a factory that produces human machines whose sole purpose of the entire life cycle is to get labeled with the brand of success.
No, we can’t deny. These are some of the dark truths of this lustrous and glamorous world and we have accepted to live like this without troubling ourselves to step out of this art of artificiality.
When success becomes suffering
We humans have been programmed to look for external rewards. We judge the book by its cover no matter how many times we have been told that this is not the correct way. We measure the successful persons by their designation, their status, their appearance, and finally by the position they hold in the top 100 or 500 lists of publicly announced testimonials. Because we have assumed that there is only agony without testimony.
But there are some questions which we never tend to ask the society or at least ourselves.
Why has this world been so much busy in showcasing success stories only?
Why has this world always ignored the failure stories?
Why do we measure the happiness with the mere intensity of the wan smile which so-called successful people wear while narrating their stories?
Why do we fail to understand that…?
Each heart has some pain
Which keep torturing the brain
A layman may hide it in eyes
But experts conceal it with smiles
In the attempt of getting approval of our parents and society and standing up to their endless and illogical expectations we forget to exercise our own free will and the power of reasoning. In this endeavor we end up living the life which has never meant to be lived by us.
At every stage of life we have been discouraged to look for internal rewards that come from using our own creative and imaginative sense. We are taught the same lesson time and again that…
Without painful hard work and great sacrifices, we can never get success.
And this theory of life is so deeply installed in our mind that we have almost forgotten to test this belief and never ponder about updating it.
And so, we keep on sacrificing our own small and big dreams in the hope of capturing the biggest one which has never been our original. Afterall who can guarantee that ultimate happiness which is thought to be ours after all the pain. No one. There is no dearth of people who have already achieved everything we are thought to achieve. Ask them. Are they really happy and satisfied with their life after all those achievements? If they are. Then why they complain about it and why they are not able to hide the pain and sufferings of the journey of life from getting reflected from their eyes and smiles.
Because the pain, the suffering which need not be a part of their life, has been deeply rooted in the misconceptions and untested theories of success and happiness.
This is the reason that the journey of success becomes the suffering of life. And the biggest cause of concern is – some are mentally equipped to bear this suffering but what are the sins of those innocent persons who succumb to the suffering. Why are we ready to run behind this definition of success at the cost of humanity? Why don’t we take a break to give it another look?
Having a different look at success
Unlike what society makes us assume as a success, we can stop having a one-directional approach and can start having a different look at success.
It is not that only when we get featured in a newspaper, a famous magazine or a TV channel, we consider ourselves successful. Every day, around the world, people from all walks of life consider themselves as failures even after having accomplished difficult tasks that others may find unachievable. But they are unaware of the uniqueness of those works.
A student struggling to understand the concepts of a topic of science, if completes his school science project after getting the concept cleared from different sources, is a successful person.
A daily wage worker after a whole day’s hard work gets his stomach filled with the food which he gets from his hard-earned money, gets sound sleep due to his tiredness and clutter-free mind, is an example of a not less successful class of act.
So, if you are thinking that you are a failure, then rethink and have a look back and try to figure out all those things which you have accomplished but considered them worthless while in actual those may prove wonderful things you have done in your life. Just acknowledge the worthiness of all those accomplishments. When you will start celebrating little achievements in your life and consider it as a success, you will be inspired from the inside for achieving more.
It is very well said that wealth can’t buy happiness. But once you change your perspective and attitude, you will start feeling successful and happy.
Everyone has a different approach to success. For a person, success could be becoming a millionaire, while for another, it could be able to get a day job. For a person, success could be becoming a celebrity actor, while for another it could be getting through the first audition.
It’s all about self-satisfaction and having self-awareness. If your awareness is at a lower level, your acts may sometimes seem to be silly and irrational. On the other hand, if you have attained a higher level of self-awareness, most probably chances are that you would feel proud of your acts, and others can also appreciate it.
The thing which matters is – what makes you feel happy and content at your inner level?
What is the real meaning of success?
In reality, there is not a single real meaning of success.
Deciphering the meaning of success is very much subjective
And it can not be looked through a particular perspective.
You may say that being successful is the combination of emotions that is brought to you by doing something throughout your life which makes you feel alive, energized, and self-satisfied. It’s about living cheerful life in a fun way not overloaded with stress. And this can be possible only when you do what you love. Furthermore, material things will get added automatically as you will start sharing unique and natural talent with this world and make yourself acquainted with your true potential.
To make it more interesting and logical you can consider yourself a combination of three specific aspects called “the persona, the ego, and the inner self.”
The persona: – This is the aspect of your personality which you want to get reflect to the world.
The ego: – This is the “you” in the form of “I”, means it is the aspect of yours that you personally believe yourself to be.
The inner self: – This is the aspect of your true self which makes you different from others. This aspect is generally found dormant in most people till the time a quest arises to know it through self-awareness.
Unless you bring all these three aspects of yours in alignment with one another, you can not understand the real meaning of success or whatever aspect of your life.
Particularly, when the first two aspects are not in alignment with the third one, the two become so powerful that the person loses the true vision and starts living in an illusion which ultimately becomes the core of all the sufferings.
Due to its aftereffect we allow ourselves to be moved by the world of material effects and we let our attention be pulled away from the true callings of our inner self. And then the vision ends and illusion starts according to the fact which says: – Where attention goes, energy flows.
Moving further let’s have a look at the relative aspects of success from a couple of perspectives. And decide yourself – what clicks with your true self?
Success is a lifestyle – Success is reflected through your day to day activities. What is above in your priority list and what is below. What fraction of time you spend doing what?
Success is about making an impact – What impact your lifestyle brings to your life as well as your near and dear ones.
Success is a fight with yourself – Success is a fight with yourself to keep yourself on the right track of life and to keep yourself away from any alluring distractions.
Success is an attitude – It is about having an original and your own unique attitude towards life instead of scaling the altitude of wealth.
Success is about offering a gift – No! don’t misunderstand. It’s not about the material gift. It is about spreading the gift of kindness, compassion, generosity, and spreading the valuable knowledge you gained which can be of use for humankind.
Success is stepping out of the box – It is about breaking open the discomfort zone of yours which makes you suffer and feel like a duffer. Never let your circumstances become your hindrances in order to paint the bigger picture of your life.
Success is exploring the unexplored – It is about exploring the ultimate joy of life which real success brings in life.
Success is believing the unbelievable – It is about believing in your uniqueness and your talent and shaping your life beyond the boundaries of impossibilities.
Success is enhancing your self-awareness – The key to living a successful life is continuously increasing your level of awareness without thinking of the optimum measure as there is no end for the awareness. By doing so you can create that unique space within the aura of your consciousness that allows you to realign your acts harmoniously with your inner self or highest possible goodness within you.
Success is a journey, not a destination – The real truth about success is the ephemeral nature of it. Once you get success in one aspect of your life, you can’t stop here thinking that you reached your destination. It is like fashion: new ones regularly drive out the old. We can say that it is a continuous evolution of consciousness.
And finally, last but not the least
Success is having peace of mind – The meaning of success can be to live a happy and peaceful life and to make this world a better place for all. And it is a direct result of self-satisfaction. It is about experiencing those ‘aha’ moments when you self-acknowledge about your efforts to do your level best to transform yourselves into the best which you possess the ability to taste.
Taking the very first step towards success: Redefine success
The very first step towards acknowledging the real meaning of success is – Ask yourself: What is success?
And wait! before asking that, the most important step is to declutter your mind from all those chattering which goes inside your mind as the default installation. And this can be effectively done by bringing yourself in a meditative state at least for a while. Try to forget all those age-old teaching and preaching which has resulted in your conditioning. This can help you to uncover the unexplored arena of your thought processing.
It will make you feel at ease while you take that first step of asking that special and life-changing question. Not only this, but it will also make you more efficient and better equipped to seek the answer within yourself.
There is no perfect and single answer which world gurus keep attempting to teach. Try your free will and your own experience – whatever it is. You have the potential to come up with different and unique ideas about success. This will lead to your own ideology of success.
Ideology of success
Who does not want to live life at own terms and the way that matters most? And in order to lead the life you desire; you must get your ideas clear and set your own goals and the idea of success according to what you want — not what this world has preserved for you. This is all about you and your life, so the idea of success should also be your own only.
Just ignore all the definitions of success others set for you. Can you say that there is a single definition of success? No. And it can’t be so. Someone says something. Others tell other things.
So, why should we opt for all these confusions? Isn’t it a better and easy but rewarding concept to redefine success in our own terms and in our own capacity?
And for redefining success you must be aware of the end results you want after getting success. Most probably it must be “happiness” and “self-content”. So, find out the actions which when you will take, bring this end result and start investing your energy in that particular direction.
But these actions should always be based on the values that matter most for you and filled with qualities that can bring some betterment to society as well.
The moment you stop blindly following others, only then can you feel the real joy and excitement in your life. Though it’s very simple but hard to believe that it is really actionable.
So, stop waiting and procrastinating any more and literally sit down, if possible – write it down if you can – and start defining success for you as soon as possible. Otherwise you would end up falling trap to “the success of suffering”. Now, the choice is always yours.
Success: Blessing or burden?
Yes, really the choice is completely yours and you are totally free to decide if you don’t fall for the excuses – you want to make your success a blessing or a burden.
So, by this time it must be clear – when does success become a blessing and when does it become a burden?
It is a blessing when you feel good and content about who you are and what you do. This can only happen when your acts are in alignment with your purpose in life.
And when you join the marathon of success what others are running for, then success is a trap, a burden. It is when you make yourself quite busy attaining a false sense of achievement leading to your unsatisfied inner self.
And since no one would like the success to be a burden. So, stop chasing after the wrong kind of success and kick start making your success a blessing by bringing a shift in your mindset.