Success can be elusive – one minute it’s there, the next you’re struggling again. If you don’t feel successful , the problem is not you. But you are the one who’ll fix it.
Success is your own ideal destination, set by no one but you. You need to be the one writing its unique definition.
What typically happens, however, is that we don’t take enough time to identify what we consider a successful, happy life. Maybe we think the common definition is close enough, or maybe we just don’t feel enough urge to fulfil our own purpose. The result is a big price we pay in our precious time. You pay for unwillingness to develop your own idea of success with all the time you waste chasing someone else’s. It is the time that will never to be yours again for spending on chasing your own idea of success.
What fills you with joy? Driving a Ferrari will get old, like anything else. Meeting Oprah or Brad Pitt would surely be a memorable experience, but bring profound joy? Not too sure. Being listed in the Top-10 Most Influential by Forbes is no more than a shiny credential (just like “top-of-the-class graduate of Harvard University”) – both make an impressive line for your profile on LinkedIn, but not much more than that.
There’s little a person won’t do to experience true joy, bliss, and contentment inside. We’re wired to crave this, much like we crave true love. But none of the things listed above (which will undoubtedly make you look super cool to others when you tell them of it) will trigger these profound positive emotions.
So, it’s not surprising you probably often find yourself burnt out, deflated and overall unenthusiastic to drive towards the goal that you don’t know why you’re chasing. Deep inside, you know that even if you get to the “success” set by the external world, it won’t bring much more than approval from others. But genuine satisfaction (which only comes from your own approval of what you’re contributing to this world) lies elsewhere.
The problem solves itself in a heartbeat when you get clear on what you value the most and follow it.
- What specific activities and achievements have felt the most satisfying to you?
- What are the brightest memories of your life?
- What makes you feel good?
- What do you have/know/embody that others don’t, but they benefit from it?
- What would you regret NOT doing when you’re 80 years old?
- What would you do on the day-to-day if money simply didn’t exist?
- What are your obstacles to striving for your own success right now?
- How can you solve each one of them?
As soon as you start following your own idea of success, you will gradually turn into the kind of person who achieves it. After all, you were brave enough to take the first step, and started investing yourself into something that has intrinsic value for you, despite many unknowns involved. As long as you’re willing to apply yourself to learning what needs to be learned along the way to succeed, you already proved you deserve the prize. Now, go get it!
Enjoy your journey!