Our definition of success is always a subjective point of view. People can spend hours arguing over the meaning of success and then realise that their conversation revolved around money and fame — it just depends on who’s leading the conversation.
We would best go to Aristotle to find out about the success factors involved in the presentation of an argument. Yet, I believe, he would tell you about the mechanics of speech to convince you of how to persuade another person of your point of view, than he would about which words to use.
Static View Points
I think that successful living is a better way to begin thinking and talking about success. The outcome of success can lead to a static point in life where the work is done, the desire has been extinguished and ambitions about whatever it was that we were fighting for, have been used up.
Success is an ongoing situation that begins on day one of our journey. We set out to achieve something that will cause a change in our lives, and we hope to benefit by that change.
We shouldn’t hope for the end to our endeavour, because that is hoping for the end of a successful experience in life.
Money, working life, business ideas, love and relationships, leaving another person for self-realisation, all these things stem from the emotions and thoughts that make us human. To want each one of them, to strive towards any of them, is only human. and therefore, fair in the game of life.
Successful living must be based on personal choices. For a long time though, this was never the case.
Society needs certain types of people, certain types of success factors where people are good at achieving preset goals that lead to business and academic successes was, and still is, important. The idea of a successful life was heavily prescribed to families and individuals who wanted to fit in and be accepted as responsible members of society.
The Old Idea of what Success should Be
The idea of being a good wife or husband meant that you would be a successful member of society, a bread-winner, good at sports, can handle money well, and a person who helps out in the community would all add up to a trustworthy and successful person.
It didn’t have much to do with personal needs where an individual is also responsible for their own outcomes.
Today, life has been drilled down to the basics again. Success is up to the individual, family matters are complicated. Why should a partner sacrifice everything in life to ensure that their home looks like the ones on T.V.? People don’t necessarily have an early life goal of building a family, buying a house and allowing themselves to be tied down to those financial burdens that people used to feel were important.
Those people believed wholeheartedly, that houses, solid careers that last a lifetime, and the unity of a family of four or more, would be the obvious signs of success that created more success with friends and community.
All of those things were based on beliefs that came from a collective idea generated through media, T.V., and conversations with friends and colleagues. It served a purpose, too. Responsible people turn up for work everyday, they are quick to give loyalty and go the extra mile for the boss who might one day remember them and give them a leg-up on the career ladder.
Sounds a bit like the Donkey and the Carrot, right?
Today, people are mobile, travelling is cheaper than ever, and opportunities to see the world and make what you will of it, are abundant. No wonder that the attitude towards what success really means, and how we define it on a personal level is more important than what the next guy says it is all about.
At the beginning of this article, I said that success is a subjective idea. It’ all about how we see the world. The world we live in, not the world that some other apparently successful person lives in. Not a world where others should have a the right to dictate a set of ideas that represent success for all and sundry to chase.
Our subjective view of the world and how it works, is a volatile landscape that can offer us an enormous palette of ideas to work with. A colourful, and fantastical land brimming with ideas of how to improve our lives, but then, hearing something negative about our ideas, a false word from outside or the perceived verbal attack from a sarcastic acquaintance, our world of ideas can tumble and the landscape turns dark and stormy. A volatile landscape, indeed.
Defining success for ourselves can be a tricky situation, where the mind plays games with our hearts.
The family, and job, career and loyalty based perception of a successful life is also vulnerable to this type of attack. People who look for success as an outward appearance that shows others that they have “arrived”, or that they have achieved all the trappings of life that everybody else wants, tend to measure their achievements by bank account figures, cars and houses. the numbers game. If their numbers don’t add up, they are not successful according to the set rules.
To be able to create our own success means that we have the freedom to define success as the thing that we believe in, the object of our desires should be so real in our mind, that we just know that it will make our own lives better.
To avoid the games of the heart and mind, we must learn to understand the difference between our true beliefs, and the simple ideas that we just think are really interesting.
When you know what this is, this thing, then life becomes interesting. That’s when work that feels like play, begins. And getting up in the morning is likened to a new adventure, and not just another day at the grindstone. That’s how desires are confirmed from within, we know that we want something and we will do everything within our power to achieve it. We then have belief that stems from a deep need, a need for something that is as real as anybody’s world outside of our own.
Our subjective thoughts may be volatile, they chop and change. But when we are serious about change in life, to go from the mundane existence offered by following the rules to an overloaded debt cycle, and a credit rating that jumps up and down like a yo-yo, then desire will develop beliefs in us that need protecting and are allowed the time to thrive.
To truly believe in something, so that when we wake up in the morning, and go to bed at night, it will still be there as a guiding force from within, is the key to becoming successful in our own world — forget the success of others, just smile for them and know that your task is big enough without having to copy their methods or their super-plan to success.
Belief in a successful life can be achieved by all of us, regardless of present abilities and circumstances.
A good ability to develop is to learn how to develop belief, how to define between what you really believe and what is just a fancy idea about “how nice it would be if …”
Find the Cornerstone of Your Life
A first step is to consider deeply, seriously, what really gives you meaning in life?
If you know the answer to what is most important to you, you already have a corner stone on which to build your better life. The corner stone will always serve as reminder of why you are working hard at changing things.
It is the most important question that you could ever ask yourself — most people never ask this question, or find out what it is.
To understand what makes you tick, the way for you to live, and which activity in life makes you happy, can be achieved with honest self-investigation.
Self-investigation also means doing things, experiencing activities in life that could be something you make your own thing, or not. There is no shame in trying out ten different types of work, then to discover that none of them fit your ideas of a good life. The chances are that on the eleventh attempt, you will be adept in your choice about what’s important to you.
After discovering the corner stone of your life, the thing, that makes you express love, helps you to be understanding, to be a decent human being, you will have dealt with the “why” of the matter. After that, you have no reason to question your motives. You have discovered your driving force.
“Why”, gives you the basis for activities. The longer you work with the motivating why of things, the deeper your understanding and your beliefs become. That’s human nature.
“How” is the next step, How is a lifetime of adventure and experience that will always act as your real teacher and often show you the way forwards. Why, will never show you how to keep moving or how to build a business, a better you.
How you go forwards is all your own decision. Nobody can prescribe you a plan on how to do it. Your own point of view, your deeper belief in why you are doing something, whether it be writer, business person, or professional whatever, all this is tainted with your beliefs and your understanding which gives you the power to be motivated towards being successful.
How is exciting, scary, big and many other things in life that bring adventure and positive change. Enjoy it and thrive.
I hope you enjoyed this article and it gives you food for thought — sustenance through communication.