What is success to you? According to Cambridge Dictionary, “success is the achieving of the results wanted or hoped for.”
But “results” vary, right? It depends on a person. Then how come concepts got so mixed up nowadays that success is mostly associated with wealth?
How many people are interested in someone’s achievements in gardening, cooking, parenting, painting or engineering unless it puts this someone on a Forbes list?
Are people more interested in success that can be measured by money because money is something everyone likes? But what about gardening? Are there people who hate gardens? I doubt that.
The problem is that we’re taught to measure success by money, mansions, cars, jets, and other luxury goods since childhood. Now we’re also being taught to measure success by the number of Instagram or Tik Tok followers, which is completely insane.
People drive themselves crazy and some even do horrible stuff like lick toilet seats and put it online just to get views. I’m not going to preach why you shouldn’t lick a toilet seat, not even a clean one, and how embarrassing it is, I’m just going to say that licking toilet seats has nothing to do with success and it never will as it adds no value.
Success to me is similar to the definition I mentioned above. But besides that, to me, success is not only achieving the needed results but also:
- Being courageous
- Being determined
- Being strong-willed
- Being persistent
- Being self-organized
- Being creative
- Being capable of adding value to this world
The majority of people don’t possess these qualities as they decide not to develop them. They prefer to succumb to their laziness, vices, weaknesses, the desire to get instant rewards instead of pursuing long-term goals. It’s like they are sleeping while being actually awake. Caring about yourself and your pleasure only, isn’t that a meaningless life?
We all have both good qualities and bad qualities in our nature. But it takes a lot of effort to develop those good qualities and resist the bad ones. We all sometimes want to sleep more, work less, be disorganized, make as little decisions as possible, take no responsibility, etc. Do you agree? So, if we look at some really successful people (whose success is measured by money), we will probably find out that they had to overcome their laziness to be where they are now. They had to be persistent even in the event of failure; be courageous enough to follow their own dreams instead of continuing working for someone else; have enough willpower to make difficult decisions and tell other people the harsh truth; be responsible for their life and lives of many employees; be self-organized instead of having a fixed schedule; be creative instead of simply performing routine tasks and not taking any responsibility.
Instead of measuring success by wealth, I’d rather suggest other criteria: whether you add value to this world and whether your achievements inspire someone else to do something or achieve something similar.
Some people feel the strength to start their own business, be the boss and make millions or even billions of dollars. Some people don’t, but it doesn’t mean that they aren’t successful. Some people are meant to be musicians whose music heals, some people are meant to write books that inspire, some people are meant to design electric cars, some people are meant to educate children, some people are meant to build houses, some people are meant to rescue animals, some people are meant to be firefighters. Only you know how you can add value to this world, what your purpose is.
Channel your energy in the right direction. Don’t give up your dreams to pursue money blindly. Money alone does not equal success and surely, money doesn’t equal happiness. Money is just a pleasant outcome, a reward in some cases. What is the point in money if it makes you an unhappy, angry, anxious, and sick person? According to Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service, 90% of all disease and illness is related to stress. Don’t stress yourself out because of success standards you can’t reach, because maybe you DON’T NEED to reach them as they are not YOUR standards.
Set your own success standards – identify what your priorities in life are and how you can add value. They should be correlated with what you like doing most. Because if not, and if they are correlated with money only, you’ll always be unsatisfied. Don’t make money your God! As I said in this article on gratitude, make money to live instead of living to make money.
Develop the above-mentioned skills: be courageous, determined, strong-willed, persistent, self-organized, creative. Do the best you can. Don’t let anyone and anything (like laziness) ruin your dreams. Don’t find excuses for your weaknesses – fight them instead, it’s worth it!
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