How do you define success in life?
This is a very important issue that we must deeply consider for ourselves because the culture around us is constantly promoting materialistic and individualistic success as higher values.
And the problem with these values is the research of the last decade (1) shows that people whose values focus on material success tend to be less happy and more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, chronic stress, low self-esteem, and privacy issues, regardless of age, income or culture.
Tan when we strive to acquire status, wealth, and accomplishments in an attempt to achieve happiness and love, in fact, we might be pushing them away.
This idea of success through getting things done, doing things, and trying to be special is constantly being promoted to us through the media and advertising, so if we are not clear about OUR definition of success, we tend to unconsciously adopt values. of what we see and hear around us.
So knowing your definition of success really matters if you want to lead a rich, fulfilling, meaningful life.
The road to true success
My Uncle Geoffrey is one of the happiest and kindest people I have ever met. He chose, very deliberately, to live a very different life from the status quo.
He lived a very simple life on the few acres of land where he lived. He grew a lot of his own food, cared for the animals on his farm, cared for his neighbors and friends, and did good deeds when no one looked at him (or so he thought).
As far as I know, he was never ambitious in a worldly sense and had no interest in highlighting or accumulating wealth. He valued sustainability, satisfaction and kindness and has lived a very quiet and at the same time full and rich life. Although he was sometimes criticized for his choice to live so simply, he never strayed from his own path. He always seemed to be very clear about who he was and what made him happy.
It has always been an inspiration to me in its unwavering clarity about its own well-being and happiness. This kind of unwavering clarity is needed more today than ever as the pace of life accelerates, and anxiety, depression, and loneliness increase at an alarming rate. This clarity can lead us back to wisdom, purpose, and tranquility.
Discover and stay strong in what matters in the depths of your heart
There is nothing wrong with having beautiful things or achieving great goals. Nor is there anything wrong with living simply and humbly.
The important thing is that the goals and values we focus on are truly ours and really lead us to a happier and more meaningful life.
So my invitation to all of us is to pause and think about what success really means to us. Not what anyone tells us, or what the media shows us, but what we really value in our hearts.
Perhaps your definition of success could include being grateful for the abundance and beauty of your life, or caring for your family, your friends. Perhaps you value being kind to others, living sustainably, and contributing to the community. Maybe you care about getting up and raising your voice against inequality. Maybe spirituality, connection to nature, slow life, creativity, or generosity matter more to you. Maybe it’s all of the above or something totally different.
Whatever success you may have, see if you can make it clearer, get closer to it, and act on it.
If you can live your life guided by your own definition of success, I think you will find that true fulfillment, meaning, and purpose arise naturally within you like the warm sun.
As always, thank you for your practice, for being a person who works to live with more awareness, love and wisdom.
With love and respect,
PD You can get all my meditations, talks, courses and daily mindfulness coaching at Mindfulness.com. Joining it is free, so come and try it today.
(1) Considering the self in the link between self-esteem and materialistic values: the moderating role of the self-constructed
False materialist: questions and answers with Tim Kasser about the pursuit of the good life through goods
Tim Kasser, The High Price of Materialism (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003).
The publication How are you defining success? appeared first in Mrs. Mindfulness.
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