I want to write today about something that is very close to my heart: success, or more specifically the meaning of success.
I often hear others talk about people who make a lot of money or have powerful titles or jobs as being successful and I always think the same thing: yes they’ve achieved a lot in their careers but does that make them successful? It may do but for too many people it seems as though they achieve this success at the expense of happiness – they end up divorced or in unloving relationships, possibly with estranged kids and an unquenchable thirst for more money or more of this kind of “success”.
Imagine a world in which when people spoke of others as being successful they spoke about how happy and content that person is. How much they smiled, loved and laughed. Imagine a world where our driving ambition was not to make more money or get a better job title but to love more, care more and laugh more. Imagine our 5 year plans didn’t define where we want to be in our careers but rather where we wanted to be in our lives – the level of contentment we aimed to achieve. In this world the covers of magazines would show contented people who set an example of the values which truly lead to success, rather than people whose appearance we are taunted to emulate.
In our world not everyone can have lots of money or powerful jobs but we can all be content. We can all love, we can all laugh. Sometimes it may be hard to do this but even when life is tough we can strive to return to happiness and in so doing achieve a purity of purpose that no amount of money can buy.
Yes, I want to be successful. But my definition of success is perhaps a little different to many other people. What’s your definition of success?