Article – Success

How do you know when you are a success?


Have you ever really sat down to define what success means to you? If not, how will you know when you have reached your destination?

Many of us drift along in life not really knowing where we are heading, we just have this gnawing feeling in our stomachs that whatever we are doing is “not good enough”, or that we “should be doing something else” or that “we are a failure”.

This comes from not having clarified for ourselves what our idea of success really is, in each area of our lives. We feel like a failure because we are trying to live up to someone else’s expectations of us.

For some of us, success is constantly out of reach. It is something we are trying to head towards. “I will be successful when…………….” is a phrase often heard. The problem there is that if you depend on outer manifestations to prove that you are successful, you may end up not reaching those goals and how will you feel then?

Be careful of the meaning you give to things because some definitions of success may set you up for low self-esteem instead. If you are afraid of things, you can set yourself up for failure if you decide that success means you will never be afraid again, because fear is part of being alive!

A very interesting definition comes from Sir Winston Churchill, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”.

I would go so far as to say that there is no failure at all. There are only steps to success.

It is worth defining what success really means to you as everyone’s definition will differ. The main thing is to ensure you have a realistic and measurable way to know you have achieved it.

Maybe success is to be found from within. Maybe it is to be found in your values rather than anything you can buy or accumulate. Rather than just aiming for that new red car which you may or may not achieve, how about improving who you are on a daily basis? Are you aiming to become more loving, patient and sensitive to others?

Maybe success lies in the fact that you are an ethical, honest and person and can live up to your values when you are tempted not to? Living by spiritual and internal values means you know where you are heading and can make corrections on a daily basis to bring in even more success.

So, if you are working on being more loving and you get a really challenging day and manage to stay loving then you have succeeded. If you feel that you let yourself down by getting angry and exploding, for example, then you can get right back on track the following day.

If you wish to have temporary success then by all means go for the promotions, the cars and the houses. Just bear in mind that there is a cost involved and not just a monetary one. These things do not last for long and we will have to give them back eventually. If that is where our focus has been most of our lives, we may get to a point where we find our life pretty empty of meaningful relationships.

If you are after lasting and tangible success, it is to be found within. For, your personal and spiritual growth and wisdom remain with you throughout your life and cannot be taken away.

©2010 Maria Parkinson

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