“Success is about creating benefit for all and enjoying the process. If you focus on this & adopt this definition, success is yours.” – Kelly Kim
Do you know someone who is “successful” but completely miserable? I believe this is because they don’t have a clear definition of what success means to them. There are countless ways to define success, and for that reason, before you set any major life goals ask yourself what success means to you. From deep down inside, really really consider what success means to you. Not the hand-me-down version of what other people want you to do, or what you believe is successful based on social standards, but your personal definition of what a successful life would be. I contemplated this question earlier this year and was able to recognize that much of my discontent was coming from a definition of success based on money, status, and prestige. Not that any of these things are inherently bad, but they just weren’t working for me. Defining success in these terms was keeping me stuck in a place of lack and insignificance. It was actually getting in the way of growing my wealth and business. I wanted to feel good now instead of waiting until I had a certain amount of money or certain career. I wanted to appreciate life, live it to the fullest, and contribute something to the world. I wanted to define myself by something deeper than my career and possessions. So I did, and in doing so felt more successful than ever. By feeling more successful I acted more successful and started to “become” more successful. Nothing really changed except my experience of life, but this is exactly what was needed. You can live a successful life right now! You can enjoy the world while you try to change it. Here are seven suggestions to use as signposts to experience real and lasting success.
1. Have a good time pursuing commitments
We don’t have to work ourselves to death in order to be successful. Really this is the antithesis of success. When we get caught up in all the “have to’s” and “need to do’s” we lose sight of the bigger picture. Success is more about the journey and less about the destination. When life is no longer enjoyable, it’s time to assess the path we’re on and what direction to take.
2. Choose to be happy
You don’t “need” anything to be happy. The ultimate myth about happiness is believing you should place your happiness in things beyond yourself. People believe that happiness will come along when they get a new care, a new job, or a new relationship. But in the end these external sources of happiness are fleeting. We are responsible for our happiness. We don’t “feel our circumstances,” we “feel our thinking.” So, let yourself experience happiness by thinking differently about life.
3. Make people more important than fortune or fame
If you knew that today was your last day to live what would you do? I imagine your answer isn’t to spend the day working harder and getting more accomplished. If today was your last day you would spend time with friends and family, or do something that we have always dreamed of doing. Why then do we make “working” our biggest value? Because financial and professional success is driving our vision instead of a bigger purpose and mission. We are more likely to reach greater success when we are driven by a deep and burning reason why!
4. Stop gossiping, judging, and complaining
I admire people with a positive, optimistic, and compassionate attitude. I look up to these type of people because letting-go of judgment is a struggle for me sometimes, despite knowing that judgment and complaining isn’t a successful mindset. Judging and complaining lowers our consciousness. We begin reacting to life instead of creating and responding to it. Let go of the negativity and success will develop more effortlessly.
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
5. Stop fretting! Live in the moment
The idea of working ourselves to death isn’t a myth. The word Karōshi is a Japanese term meaning “death by overwork.” When we are unable to let go of occupational stress we can literally kill ourselves from exhaustion. Don’t be so frantic to amass your wealth and success. Enjoy the moment. There is really nothing to worry about that you can’t handle. Be mindful and don’t take your work with you everywhere you go.
6. Be a ray of sunshine to others
Turn on the news for just 10 minutes, or talk to someone about current world events and I bet you will get a pile of negativity dumped all over you. Though, occasionally we find people who seem to be above all the fear mongering. They really brighten up our lives. Focus on being a positive presence toward other people. How can you add something positive to the people around you today?
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace & gratitude.” – Denis Waitley
Stop waiting around to decide you are successful. Become successful today. Live a life you’re proud of and commit to enjoying the journey. Decide which of these signposts can help you stay on a positive and uplifted path.