What does success mean to you?
How do you measure success? Do you measure it in financial terms, in terms of status, in terms of fame, in terms of qualifications and education, in terms of making ends meet with a bit extra left over, in terms of self- development?
What does success mean to you? Do you see yourself as successful? Do other people see you as successful? Do they treat you as such? How do you view other people in terms of success, what makes you believe someone is successful compared to somebody who isn't?
My main focus has never been money, riches, status or fame, even though at times I seem to have allowed myself to be drawn towards these things which has been reflected in the choices I have made. However, chasing these has never made me happy or content and has never sat comfortably with me.
Success means different things to different people but in today's world it seems to be that the more money and possessions someone has the more successful they are regarded as being.
When I was younger I always remember, on birthdays and Christmas’ that there were some friends for whom it was all about how much you had been given and I somehow felt inadequate because I never received as much as they did. They would reel off lists of many presents, many quite expensive, and when it came to my turn they expected me to do the same which I couldn’t do. At the time I battled within myself because part of me felt it was unfair and that I wasn’t as important as them because they had received more but, on the other hand, I knew that what I had received was given out of love and careful thought and it really didn’t matter how much I did or didn’t get.
Unfortunately this theme of ‘having’ the best, the most, the biggest, the newest, seems to prevail more and more and it does take a strong will to resist and not succumb to temptation to fall into the trap of thinking that success equals having all this. It doesn’t. Having these things does not make you a nicer, kinder, more considerate person who is true to themselves and others. That is something that money cannot buy and where I believe real success lies.
If someone is not wealthy and struggles with money this seems to be associated with failure even though they may be rich in other ways - they may be great at studying and learning, at self-development and at teaching and guiding others to fulfil their potential. They may be rich in love and friendship, in kindness and in caring.
There is no one form of richness and whilst it is important to be able to have enough to live on, to have food on the table and a roof over your head, it is not the be all and end all to be wealthy in monetary or status terms. It's also not a bad thing but it shouldn't be the main focus of anyone's life and it shouldn't be the sole thing on which people are judged.
At the end of the day it doesn't matter how big your house is, how new your car is, how many 'things' you own - we all come into this world with nothing and we will all leave it with nothing, material wise that is.
We need to stop judging each other on these things, to stop striving to just try and have these things, to stop putting pressure on others to have these 'things', difficult as it might be.
Don’t berate yourself for wanting more from life in terms of money, a better job, a more reliable car but don’t base your life on achieving ‘things’ as such – yes these can help to make life more comfortable but with regards to this approach there always seems to be a need to acquire more and more, with less satisfaction being achieved along the way.
True success is, I believe, being content and happy within yourself, having the love of those to whom you are close, being able to give love to others, being able to pick yourself up when you fall, believing in yourself, having trust in yourself and striving to be the best that you personally can be whilst helping others to do the same.
To conclude I thought I’d use this quote that I came across about success - 'The true measure of success in life isn't money, fame or power...it's laugh lines' (Source: Unknown) – here’s to having lots of laugh lines and of course success!