We tend to correlate success with status. I want to argue that we might shift our understanding of what success is, or at least adjust the concept of it. Success should be a state of mind.
Disclaimer: what I am about to write about is my guess and I am still a good distance away from being there myself. So as always, read everything I write with a healthy dose of skepticism =)
When I think about success and what it means to me the first thoughts that pop up in my mind are those of successful and rich people. Then my mind wanders to what I’d like to have in my life. For example, I’d like to have a house, build with a lot of wood and huge windows. I want to have it near a lake and in the middle of a forest. I should have a sauna. And so on and so on…
But having a lot of money, or a lot of influence, and all those status symbols really leads to a successful life? Maybe. Many will say it is evidence of a successful life. And it could be. I think it has something to do with the intentions of achieving this. For what do I need a lot of money or a lot of influence? And what am I going to do with a big, fancy house? Here, we are already in the transition process of what success should be: a state of mind.
If it is nothing to fill in inner void, or to make up for my uncertainties, I am getting closer to be willing to call this a successful life. However, I think it might also be possible to have none of it and still lead a very successful life. Maybe more successful than any famous, rich, or influential person can ever become. I speak of a balanced and calm mind. A patient understanding of things. A life not ruled by desire but by meaning and love. A life not looking to be visible but to be connected.
Maybe all of those who don’t strive to be famous or rich are a step closer to be a success. I don’t want to say you shouldn’t strive for greatness. I just ask the question whether people who found inner peace and balance, and who are maybe totally happy with caring for their families or working to enjoy the feeling of being connected to their colleagues, are actually more successful?
I think we all strive for happiness. Maybe we look for it in the wrong places. Maybe our teachers and role models are not found on TV. Maybe they are found sitting on a bench in a park, or next to you in the train. I think that real success is a feeling and a state of mind.
Have a wonderful day and take care!