We all think we know what successful means: Its the big fancy house, the flash car, designer clothes and shoes, luxury holidays four times a year and more money than we know what to do with.
All the material trappings of success have come to mean success themselves. It doesn’t matter the means by which you come to them, it just matters that you have them. Sell your mind, sell you body, sell your soul.
But is the having of all that what makes you successful, does having what you think you want make you happy?
You can be in a high profile role, but that doesn’t mean that you feel successful or accomplished. You could be a superstar actor, singer, writer and if anything you might feel overburdened, stressed and isolated.
People who strive constantly for success and more and more material accomplishments may be driven by fear of failure, and feel they have to work harder, do more, all the time, never allowing themselves to stop, to rest, to enjoy what they’ve accomplished.
Sometimes we strive for success because we’re still trying to prove someone wrong. Someone who told us we’d never amount to much, never be successful, never be anything.
You will never be successful in your own eyes if you’re continually battling demons from your past, because even if you conquered the highest professional peaks you’ll never feel that its enough.
Real success is when you truly feel accomplished in your goals, when you know that your efforts are good enough. When you’re not measuring yourself against someone else’s yardstick.
Its not about how much you can do, how good you can do it or how how you have. Its about how you feel about what you do, how you make other people feel and how you balance work you love with play, family time, learning, growth and contribution to your community.
Think about this for a minute: without your career, who are you? Do you exist outside of your job?
When you think about building a successful life, its important to consider all aspects of life, not just career and finances. Think about what you have and what you want to have in the following life aspects:
- Physical Health and Fitness
- Work, Career, Business
- Family, Love and Relationships
- Mental and Spiritual Health and Fitness
- Wealth, Money, Investments
- Creative Pursuits and New Learning
- Contribution to Community
- Quality of Life
Tony Robbins has a great online tool to talk you through this, and if you don’t want his emails, just unsubscribe after you get your results.
Next, I want you to write out your ideal life, take as long as you need, fill in every detail you can think of, especially those that matter to you, such as having fresh cut flowers in beautiful vases in every room of your home or having a short commute to your office. Love the nuances, get right into how this life feels, the textures, tastes, smells. What about this ideal life makes you come alive? How does each thing you write about make you feel?
Now think about who you are as you live this ideal life. What is different in the person experiencing this lifestyle from the person you are today writing about it? Who is the person you have become as you experience all the things you want?
As you write, create a rich tapestry of your life as you want it to be. Paint every detail with colour and vitality in your imagination.
Now sit back and close your eyes and step into this picture; this detailed, complex exciting vision of your life as you want it to be. Step right into it, live it, be the person who lives inside of you who is giving you these desires. Step into this vision and own it, you belong here.
This is your personal version of a successful life, and its whatever it is for you. It may be a small cottage on the edge of the woods where you keep rescue animals, it may be a life as a mother or father or a teacher who makes a difference in the lives of their students.
Thankfully, not all of us want the same things although media and advertisers would have you thinking we do. Your successful life is the one that fills you with energy, joy and purpose. Find out what it is for you and stop allowing marketing messages to get in the way of living it.