Success is quite an interesting word if you stop and think about it. What other word do you know of that has so many different meanings? It seems that everyone defines it differently. What about you, what is your definition?
Some people believe that a successful life is defined by the amount of money they make. Perhaps you have heard the following… “The difference between men and boys, is the price of their toys.” Another interesting quote is “He who dies with the most toys, wins.” Do you agree with this definition? Some people do.
When achievement is defined by the gathering of material things, you will find yourself becoming a part of the Jones’ Syndrome. This means that the next time the Jones’ next door goes and buys some new expensive thing, you have to do likewise. Playing this kind of game can wreck your finances and send you straight into bankruptcy court. This isn’t exactly the kind of successful life people are hoping for, is it?
There are those who attempt to achieve their goals by trying to measure up to the standards of others. They worry more about what other people think and about what they might say, when they should really be more concerned about deciding what it is they want for themselves. Each and every person would do better measuring their own lives by their own standards rather than by the standards of others. Worrying about the opinions of others is to put undue stress upon yourself. Who wants to spend all of their time worrying? No one does, yet so many wind up doing just that.
How do you feel when you see that person who seems to have it all, the big house, the expensive car, a nice boat tied to the dock which is on the lake they live next to? Do you feel that person is successful because of the appearance of the material things you witness? Do you sometimes feel a bit envious?
While it may seem a bit normal to be envious of those who have achieved the appearance of that level of achievement, be careful of what you wish for. You are looking at them as successful without knowing how they got where they are. There are some people who sacrifice everything else for monetary gain. They got to where they wanted to go, but found out they lost their family, and sometimes their health along the way. Success in one area, destroyed any chance of being successful in one or more of the other areas of their life.
What other ways might you define success?
Do you feel successful in your career? Liking what you do may be more important than making the big money. Are you successful in your personal life, do you feel your marriage and family life is satisfying? What about your spiritual life? If you believe in a higher power, are you walking according to your beliefs, or are you saying one thing and doing another? What about your children? Have you raised them to be respectful and productive citizens, or have they turned out to be everything you hoped they wouldn’t? These are all important questions.
Let’s consider another definition of success that some people believe: “To find a balance in life, and to be happy in that balance.” Could this be a worthwhile measure of achievement? What if you could be happy with your career, with your family, with your friends, with your financial health, your emotional health, and your physical health?
Balancing all of these things is not an easy task, and requires some planning on your part. To achieve success in all areas may also require sacrifice in some areas. You cannot have a happy family life if you spend all of your time at work. You cannot have a great career by spending all of your time with your family. To have a happy and successful life does require balancing out your goals.
The dictionary defines success as the achievement of something planned or desired. Be sure too that you plan your own life, and that you plan it with balance in mind.
We are all different and we all want different things, yet we also want many things that are similar. Yes, success is a strange word, a word with as many definitions as there are people, and for some people, it is defined as the journey itself, not just the achievement of a stated goal. In the end, isn’t success defined as being happy, regardless of where you are in life? As the song says, “Don’t worry, be happy!” Perhaps this is the key to finding true success!
Please tell us how you define success by joining the conversation, please leave your comments below!