The definition of success from dictionary.com: 1.) the favorable or prosperous of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishments of one’s goals. 2.) the attainment of wealth, position, honors or the like.
Of the two definitions above I think many of us associate success with #2. To be successful means we have more than our family, friends, neighbors, and most definitely our enemies. To have succeeded in life we have a college degree, the big paying job and always want more – money, possessions and accolades. Definition #2 includes stress, heartburn, and unhealthy habits.
To think like this isn’t because we are selfish. I find it has to do with culture and competition. All good in many respects, American culture drives competition in the market. If we feel without we have the opportunity to correct our lives and fill it with wealth. But this competition also leaves many of us UN-successful.
I prefer definition #1, accomplishment of one’s goals. Notice the specifics of this definition - one’s (meaning mine or yours not society) and the plural s (meaning multiple). If I have one goal which is to create more money for myself and that’s all I have – it’s okay if it includes the following:
1. It’s what I live and breathe. It’s my passion.
2. It puts many smiles on my face and joy in my heart not because of the accumulation but because I am touching the finish line of my goal.
3. It transforms me into a better person who wants to continually challenge herself.
For me the money making goal wouldn’t provide me with any of the above attributes. I would be depressed, unhappy, and mean. This is a problem.
But society expects this of us - to want wealth and riches. To be ‘better off’.
I shouted stop. Yes, money can solve a lot of life’s problems and when we don’t have it our lives can be dark. So, what is my definition of success? Money isn’t the goal. Money gets me to my goals.
Everyone can define success.
Everyone can attempt to reach a goal. What the definition of success should include:
1. Defeat: because being defeated makes us stronger for the next battle. We want to reach our goals.
2. Failure: it keeps us scrappy and knowledgeable for future favorable attempts.
3. Loss: when we lose because of someone else’s definition, they will be envious of our bravery to define our own path.
What is your definition of success?
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