In a world driven by the need to achieve, many of us find ourselves standing outside the ‘normal’ definition of success wondering how to find our place in the world. We look at others who seem to ‘have it all’ and tell ourselves we need to work harder, smarter, longer so we too can find the success we crave.
Perhaps then our lives will have meaning.
The word success will conjure up an immediate mental picture for you and carries with it a raft of expectations based on how we define success.
What does success look like to you?
- Is it a degree from University?
- Is it a good job?
- Is it another rung in a corporate career?
- Is it owning a house, a car, a plane?
- Is it earning a certain amount of money?
- Is it a retirement fund?
- Is it world travel?
- Is it fame?
- Is it a certain number of social media followers?
- Is it a happy family?
- Is it holidays abroad?
We are bombarded by messages in the media about who you need to be in order to be successful. We see images of people who have made a fortune out of business or knowledge and we define them as successful. We see sportspeople who are driven to achieve amazing feats and we call them successful. There are types of professions and careers that are considered the perfect road to success and others which are minimised, undervalued, and depreciated. And the amount we are paid is directly proportional to the value society places on what we do.
All of these external definitions of success impact our understanding of the word and create an imprint in our brain. That imprint is instantaneously delivered whenever you hear the word success or contemplate your desire to find it. In fact, it is so strongly imprinted on your brain that you will compete with yourself in a need to meet your own preconceived expectations. It will drive your choices, it will drive your behaviour and how closely your results match your imprint, will drive your emotions.
But there is something even deeper and stronger that you are driven by and that’s your own inherent values and needs.
At your deepest core, there is a desire to feel certain emotions and you will do anything it takes to feel them.
So if what you want to feel is not delivered by your strive to achieve your imprint of success, then you will not take the actions to create the outcome you’re hoping for. You will certainly do your best with all your will but will find the time and again, you fall short of your own expectations for yourself. It can make you feel like a failure. It can make you feel like you’re just not good enough. And it can make you fall into despair.
But it’s not you who is the problem.
The problem lies with your definition of success and the expectations that accompany it.
And that is in your power to change!
When we change the parameters we use to measure success, we can create a new imprint that matches our values, needs, and emotions we want to feel. By bringing these into alignment, we are creating a recipe for success that we can truly embrace.
George Bernard Shaw is responsible for this famous quote:
“Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself”
But life is not just about creating yourself. It’s also about creating your world to match who you are.
The act of creation comes from something deep inside of you. It’s the process of bringing something into existence. It’s a connection and reflection of your heart, your soul, and your humanity brought to life.
Redefining your measure of success to bring it into alignment with who you truly are is the fastest way to achieve it. It removes the blocks that stop you from taking action, it inspires you to do more, be more, gives more.
Because suddenly instead of there being an internal conflict that saps your energy, there is harmony and a clear direction that every part of you can embrace. This is where your true power lies.
And it’s the place you will find the meaning, fulfillment, and growth you’ve been searching for.
For sure the world will still present a version of success that may not match the life you’ve chosen. But if you ask one of the many who have spoken of regrets on their deathbed, they will tell you that chasing the world view of success does not guarantee happiness.
True success is measured by a life lived in alignment with you.
Real success can be measured in happiness, fulfillment, joy, acceptance, connection, self-exploration, and self-expression.
This doesn’t mean you live outside of society like some outcast. It means you find your own path within the framework that exists. It means you tap into the resources we all have access to and tailor them to fit your definition of success. It means you harness your power of creation to mould and shape your world by being in alignment with your truest self.
Your strive for success will no longer be a burden, but a joy. Suddenly you will recognise, and be delivered, opportunities you would never have seen if you had pursued the road commonly traveled. There will still be challenges on your journey but as you traverse them, you will understand they are simply signposts to guide you along the way. You will know that it is not the destination that brings fulfillment and happiness but the voyage itself.
As you define success on your own terms there will be outcomes you desire to see but your success will no longer be dependent on a set of expectations being met.
Success will be an outward expression of you in motion.
And therefore as there is no standing still, you are already a success.
Article Credit Allanah Hunt
[For more information on my good friend Allanah Hunt you can do so by clicking here]