What is “Success”?
Do you even know?
What even is ‘success’? Is it something that can be gauged?
The dictionary defines success as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose”.
Let’s take a minute to paint a picture of what most people think of when they think of success.
Many picture the glitz and the glamour of famous celebrities. The cameras flashing, the elaborate wardrobe and people’s jaws dropping as they walk by. Or maybe they picture top business executives or multi-millionaires driving bright red Ferraris, wearing Armani suits and pulling up to their gated estate. Others think a life of active travel or flying every other night to meetings and glamorous events is the dream.
For some that is arrival. The ‘dream life’ people only dare to visualize themselves in while lying alone in bed. Because life on that side must be perfect, it would solve all problems, bring joy and you would finally be somebody.
But let me tell you something.
You already are somebody. And money and fame can never and will never define who you are.
For most people who have arrived at this superficial level of ‘success’ there is still emptiness that those material things can never fill.
They still get lonely at night. They still wonder what their purpose is and why they are on this earth. They still get sick. They still get divorced.
Reaching for and defining success by superficial standards is not the answer. Because you will never find it.
Let’s go back to the definition of success for a minute: “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose”.
That tells me that success is the accomplishment of something you put your heart to do. No matter how big or small it may seem.
The accomplishments that I have seen that truly spell out a successful and happy life are not money, fame and acknowledgment, but love, happiness, fulfillment in what you do, laughter, peace and making a difference in peoples’ lives.
Years ago I had bought in to this culturally accepted definition of ‘success”. What I thankfully learned, is that it does not look like my definition of success, not anymore.
After years of battling with thinking my view was wrong, I have come to peace with the fact that for me flying to a new city every night, wearing glamorous clothes, walking the red carpet, driving a Lamborghini and having people gravel over my fame and accomplishments made me feel like I was suffocating. For all those years, when I measured myself against those standards, I was never enough and the pressure was too great.
I battled with self esteem and with not feeling like I was worthy and never being able to be present where I was, because I had ‘somewhere’ to go. Even though I had no idea where that was. All I know is I didn’t have a bank account with seven zeros or a yacht party scheduled with the most successful people in the industry so I couldn’t allow myself to be present until I was in that future moment.
What a mistake.
I began to realize that being in love with an incredible man that God designed just for me was success. That having a relationship with The Lord is success. That being able to inspire others or help make breakthroughs in their lives was success. That making a healthy dinner from scratch while listening to jazz music was success.
Success became redefined. I began to define it, not allow it to define me. (TWEET THAT)
We are so molded by media and our culture but seeing the big picture and opting out of the ‘success’ model we see everyday gave me freedom.
I see my future differently. I feel lighter. I feel more me by allowing myself to be okay with who I am.
I’ve slowed down. I’ve stopped striving for that ‘something out there’. I began living more right now where I am at and although I am not perfect it makes such a difference.
I challenge you to take a few minutes and think about what you’re definition of success is and then ask yourself if that’s truly YOUR definition of success or just a cultural norm you may have bought in to. What is it that truly would make your life successful to you? What do you dream of accomplishing, seeing or being?
Once you have that vision, keep it in front of you. Make a collage board or a list of words that inspire you and keep you on track.
Recently, I wrote out a list of words and phrases that encompass success to me and what I dream of seeing in my life. I have it hanging on my fridge and every day I remember what my version of success is and I make steps to get there. Every decision I make, I ask myself if it lines up with the values and dreams on that list. If the answer is no, I move on.
In the comments below, I’d love to hear what your definition of success is for you.
Have a beautiful rest of your week and keep that vision of your success in front of you!
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