Welcome to the second installment of the Thursday's Child series. Thank you for coming back!
Today, I want to examine the meaning of "success"; Just what does it look like?
The dictionary defines success as:
In western culture, someone is deemed "a success" if he/she attains wealth. Some would add fame here, but that tends to go hand-in-hand with wealth. Some of the wealthiest people may be reclusive, so it isn't always that way, but one can also be famous and not considered a success. Some may achieve infamy as well.
"the president had some success in restoring confidence"
- the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
synonyms: favorable outcome, successfulness, successful result, triumph;
"the success of the scheme"
"the success of his play"
- the attainment of popularity or profit.
synonyms: prosperity, affluence, wealth, riches, opulence
"the trappings of success"
"I must make a success of my business"
- a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.
synonyms: triumph, bestseller, blockbuster, sellout;
In other cultures, success may look quite different. One is a success if he/she raises respectful children, or is promoted to a middle-management position for a corporation, or has a small business that turns a profit.
On an individual level, success may have nothing to do with money or fame or even promotions at work or in business.
What each of us values most is where we can see our success. If you are happy doing what you do, is that not the achievement of desired aims? Here, in America, we have "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". Happiness is the ultimate goal, no? Then, if that's the case, are we not successful when we have achieved that "aim or purpose"?
Studies have shown that the wealthy are no more or less happy than the rest of us. The adage "money doesn't buy happiness" clearly rings true. So, if we're striving for money because we think that once we achieve a certain power-class or social standing it will make us happy, we are mistaken.
Living for the future is not a means to happiness (and therefore, success). It is in this moment that it can be chosen. Happiness is a choice. It is a state of mind.
Many eastern philosophies teach us that by detaching from the outcome, we are able to attain a state of peace and fulfillment that we cannot actualize if we are constantly working for something that has yet to happen. This doesn't mean you shouldn't work hard for a goal or try to achieve something. It simply means that you ARE a success whenever you choose to be one.
That means right now, in this moment, you can select your mood, your view of life and yourself, and determine to be happy. It isn't easy in the difficult times, but I also maintain that it isn't easy when the road is smooth, either. Aren't a lot of us just waiting for the other shoe to drop? Aren't we feeling a bit dissatisfied when it's all going too well?
Success is simply you determining that life is what you make it, and regardless of what anyone else thinks, you can be successful- every moment of every day.
Beannú na déithe's n'aindhéithe ort !
("The blessings of the gods and the non-gods upon you".)
Thursday's child is a new series of blog posts where I examine what it means "to go far". I hope you'll join me in this exploration each week