In my last post I had mentioned a common man’s idea of success looking for inspiration around us, within the people that we know and associate ourselves with. In this post today, I wish to take that argument further, delve deeper into our understanding of success and challenge the way we look at success in our lives.
So, what does success really mean?
According to the online Cambridge dictionary, the definition of success is, “Achieving of the results wanted or hoped for”. If we had to dig deeper into the meaning and observe, we would notice that it is an open ended statement. This is suggestive of the fact that the definition itself is highly subjective and hence has multiple interpretations.
I must inform the readers at this point here that the definition mentioned here is not the only open-ended statement that I found during my research.
However, having said that, how do we then look at success differently? How can we personalise the idea of success for ourselves?
The subjective nature of success and the meaning behind it makes the idea of success quite ‘slimy’ in nature. I use the word slimy here to suggest that it can be moulded into any shape or form and in fact, can be re-moulded as well. The slimy nature gives us an opportunity to open our minds up to a wide variety of possibilities and cherry pick the ones that we most relate to. However, if the definition of success gives enough room for creativity and experimentation, why does our understanding of the term get restricted to just one kind of success only? What are some other ways to look at success in our lives?
The meaning and understanding of ‘success’ varies even in our day to day lives. Our emphasis on the final outcome and therefore our importance to that one event in our entire lives has led us to undervalue and ignore our growth overall. Every goal that we ever set up, every milestone that we cross, every deadline that we have cleared are some or the other forms of success. Imagine if all of us went through an upbringing where each success story was celebrated and laid emphasis on. We would not only lead our lives more being more mindful of our efforts but each and every step that we would ever take in life would carry some weightage. So, where do we begin? How can we better understand ourselves and value our efforts? What are the ways in which we can take charge of our lives?
In order to make changes in our lives, it is important that we understand who we are not! It is easier to discard the things that you do not associate with or relate to than finding what ticks. This is probably the first step to knowing yourself better.
The next important factor is to ask yourself what do you value more in life. It could be anything ranging from money, maintaining relationships, popularity, serving etc. This is probably the most important step in the entire process as this will determine the direction in which you will progress further. The choice that you make will determine the values you associate yourself with and hence suggest the milestones/goals/achievements that you would desire from this path.
The final outcome of this desired process will yield you the success that you wish to achieve. Your success hence will be measured by what you believe growth means to you and will lead to you overriding your conditioning to believe that there are different kinds of successes that exist in the world.
Every form of success that we have ever encountered in our life, has been set by us keeping in mind, our needs, our interests, our likes and most importantly, our values. This means that your upbringing has a lot to do with how you look at the world and what you associate the term success with. And since our upbringing is a very important factor, we must also be mindful of the upbringing that others have gone through, making the entire process of understanding and associating with the term, ‘success’ very personal. All these above-mentioned factors help us enjoy life to the fullest!
Let us all celebrate life for what it truly is and means for us, rejoice every little milestone as a successful step towards achieving our desired goals and, every important decision that we ever implemented as a sign of strength that takes us closer to our idea of success.
Let us all live and let live! Let us all break the shackles of rigidity and embrace the slimy nature of life!