In many cultures and societies the meaning of success is thrust upon us as we grow up, and sometimes we don’t even question if that is what we truly want. The expectation set upon us is often not questioned.
Whether it is climbing up the corporate ladder, making a certain salary, having lots of children, getting married or having a nice house, such things are generally what people would define as being successful.
Here is a question I have pondered over the years – does success equal happiness? We tend to think so. But think of the times when you wanted to attain something, and when you got it, you probably did feel a high from it – temporarily. We stabilize after a period of time, then the euphoria fades and typically we return back to the old baseline, and feel the need for something more.
I feel fortunate that years ago, in my work life, I realized that I did not need to climb the corporate ladder, but instead what was important to me is doing a good job, having a good attitude, making a difference in what I do, and most of all helping others. In my personal life, the same approach holds true as well. For me, this has given me great satisfaction over the years. Success for me comes from the inside, not the outside.
What is your definition of success? What do you think you need to ‘feel’ successful? I challenge you to think about this and determine if you want these things because it’s been expected of you, or have you truly defined what makes you happy for yourself and what you want from your life.
Being self-aware in this regard is very liberating.