Society tends to view successful people as those that have important jobs, earn lots of money and live a luxurious lifestyle. So we work hard to climb the corporate ladder so that we can afford to buy that dream house, own that sports car and “live the dream” but at the end of the day does this make us happy? Does this make us feel successful – or just plain stressed out?
The truth is success isn’t about conforming to the social definition of success. Success is about living the life you want to live, the one that makes you feel fulfilled. That doesn’t necessarily mean being rich and having a high-flying job.
Try thinking of success as a state of mind. One where you feel contented with your life. If I had to ask you “What does success look like to you?” How would you answer?
The trick behind this question is to not look at society’s definition but rather to visualise the emotions you would be feeling, your lifestyle and the type of work you would be doing. What is it that you really want to achieve? What will give you a sense of purpose and make you feel fulfilled?
If you think of success in monetary terms then make sure it isn’t your sole measure of success. While we all need money to live, to focus purely on money means that you run the risk of not achieving success in other areas of your life like relationships, social and personal achievements. I have worked with too many people who have spent their lives chasing money but have not achieved a sense of fulfilment. Instead of feeling successful, they feel like they have a hole in their lives and they keep trying to fill that hole by earning more money.
Success is personal
When you define what success looks like to you, don’t try and mimic someone else’s life. How you define success is unique to you and should be based on your values, your interests and your dreams. It is perfectly ok not to conform to what other’s believe success to be. You are a unique and special person and you should live your life in a way that makes you happy.
So if you have always dreamt of living a life where you spend most of your time exploring the world and take odd jobs to keep you in that lifestyle then that is what success means to you. If all you want to be a full time mom, focussing purely on raising good, well-rounded happy children then that is what success means to you. You don’t have to be rich, own a mansion and rub shoulders with societies elite to be successful.
My advice to you is that if you want achieve a successful life forget what society tells you. Ignore the naysayers who tell you that you have to live life in a certain way. Embrace your uniqueness, remember your long lost dreams and define what success really means to you. Then take action, do what you need to do in order to achieve your own life success.