The Definition of Success
Let’s talk about “success” and what it means for us individually. First, take some time to think about what is “success” for you. I’m sure that when we mention this one word, a lot of us are immediately defaulting to the same things. What are these things that we all default to? Is it a lot of money in your bank account? A house and a car? Is it being married and having a family? Or maybe it’s all of this, and having to have it all at a specific age? In that sense, could this really be our personal idea of “success” that we’ve formed in our own mind? Or is it an idea that’s somehow been ingrained into us by society?
How do you think about success?
Talking about “success” is always a big deal and can sometimes be very personal for a lot of us. Most of us feel like we’re under some sort of time pressure. We feel like we’re supposed to have all these things right this instant. There’s also a lot of peer pressure going on when friends or family ask: “Why aren’t you married yet?” or “Why don’t you have any kids yet?” or even, “Why is that all you do for a living?”
In addition, this can be very daunting for a lot of us and could even be why there is a lot of anxiety and depression in the world nowadays. What’s even sadder about this is that if we really do think about “success” this way, then “success” isn’t really what we need for ourselves personally, it’s more like what society wants from us, and what we want to have to show so that other people would think we’re “successful.”
Looking back to our childhood school days, it’s very easy to see how we could have ended up with these conclusions. We’ve always been told by our teachers and parents that if we worked hard enough in school and finished college, we will get a good job and be “successful.” The problem with this, though, is that we weren’t taught the really valuable life lessons in school. We weren’t taught how to deal with sadness. We weren’t taught how to see past the superficial things. Nor to focus more on how to help ourselves achieve personal happiness, or “fulfillment” – and doesn’t that kind of “suck”?
Fulfillment vs Success
On the other hand, there’s “fulfillment.” What is “fulfillment” compared to “success?” What comes to mind when you think of the word “fulfillment?” Does it have a deeper meaning for you than “success?” Automatically, doesn’t it kind of feel spiritual, like it has something more to do with who you are as a person, and what you need out of life? How do we know if we have “fulfillment?” And if we don’t have it, how do we achieve it? This discovery can start now and be as easy as asking ourselves: “Am I happy?” or “Am I fulfilled?”
For a lot of us, after we’ve worked really hard and obtained these things we relate to “success,” we find that there is no real “fulfillment” in them. We don’t really feel satisfied, we don’t really feel like our lives are “full.” So, why is that? Did we not do everything by the book? How is it that there’s no “fulfillment?” Could it be that these things aren’t really what we need? But then, how do we figure out what it is that we actually need? What kind of work will we need to do to be able to find “fulfillment” within ourselves?
Are your ideas of success objective or subjective?
In conclusion, let’s take a journey together and assess whether or not our ideas of “success” are objective or subjective, and whether or not it helps lead us to our “fulfillment.” We’ll compare these two terms, what they mean to us personally, and what ideas they represent.
Let’s figure out if the ideas we have in relation to these terms are our own, or if they’ve been influenced by others. If they have been influenced by others, let’s figure out what we can do to get ourselves out of that mindset. Next, let’s work on how we can see past the superficial things and analyze if we have deeper issues that we need to address. Or if there are real needs that we are suppressing or putting off because we don’t feel like they’re really important. Let’s find out what it is that “fulfills” us in life. Then figure out what we can do to get more of those things. And how we can support each other grow within ourselves and away from society’s archetype of “success.”
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