I am successful if I have a great job that pays well. I am successful if I have a relationship and am married to ‘Prince Charming’. I am successful if I am recognized and acknowledged as an expert in my field. I am successful if I have my dream home with a white picket fence, two kids and dog. I am successful if I drive a certain car. I am successful if I am getting a pat on the back from my boss. I successful if I have fame, recognition and praise.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of success is:
1. The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
2. The attainment of fame, wealth, or social status.
Over the years, social conditioning has led us to believe in a distinct definition of success. We’re taught that money and power are everything. That we need to push harder, climb higher, and accrue more materially. That being endlessly busy, being the first in the office, eating at your desk, and working 17 hour days are things to be applauded.
For most of my life, I bought into these beliefs. In fact, it wasn’t until I started my inward journey that I even became aware of them. Before that, my measure of success was always gauged by external influences — how much I earned, the gigs I was getting, the level of hotness of my boyfriends, and the amount of social recognition I was getting.
But let me tell you: when your life is ruled by these kinds of yardsticks, you’re setting yourself up for trouble. You are never fulfilled (and never truly happy) because you are always searching outside yourself.
I also used to believe that you had to work extremely hard (sacrificing your health, happiness, sanity and relationships) in order to be “successful”. It wasn’t until after I hit rock bottom and turned inward that I realised I was carrying around someone else’s definition of success and that it wasn’t even my own. When I stopped and asked myself what do I believe success is, I couldn’t find the answer. It’s taken years for me to figure it out and refine it, but this is what I now believe to be true:
Success is living each moment from a heart-centered space.
If I can put my head on the pillow at night and say I lived each moment from my heart, then I have had a successful day.
Why this makes my cells dance and my soul sing is because if I am living from a space of love instead of fear, everything in my life is going to flow and is driven by passion. My work, relationships, health and finances — nothing needs to be forced, and everything is allowed to unfold.
In a recent interview, Malcolm Gladwell was asked what he thinks is the single most important factor determining a person’s success:
“It’s having the desire to win and the passion for what you’re doing.”
When asked what has helped make him so successful, Gladwell said it’s because he’s no longer held back by fear. And I couldn’t agree more in my own life.
Fear is poison for your body and mind. It keeps you hostage in Fear Town.
Is your definition of success driven by fear or passion?
Passion pumps through your veins and lights you up; fear makes you curl in and contract.
Everyone has different desires and needs, but it’s super important you get crystal clean on yours.
I asked some of my beautiful friends what their definition of success was. Here’s what they came back with:
James Colquhoun from Foodmatters says, “Success is not in numbers, results or reaching goals… it’s a feeling that resides deep within your being. It’s a knowingness on a deep subconscious level that everything is absolutely always unfolding perfectly.”
Entrepreneur superstar Lisa Messenger believes, “Success is simply defined as freedom and choice. Freedom and choice to do what you want with your life.”
The inspirational Lorna Jane says, “Knowing that what you do is actually making a positive difference in other peoples lives … that to me is success.”
Take a moment now and write down your definition of success and share it with us in the comments below.
This might take a moment so stick with it. Once you have it, write it on a Post-it note and stick it on your fridge so you can constantly be reminded of what success means to you.
As always, thank you for sharing and being part of this epic tribe. You are inspiring people all over the world with your wisdom and comments.