It is a funny thing but when people talk about being successful, the first yardstick (probably the ONLY yardstick) goes up – how rich are you? Do you have your own business? A million bucks in your bank account? Are you a CEO of some company? Do you own a closet full of shoes, clothes, jewelry, invitations to swanky affairs, and maybe a Jaguar in the garage?
Having seen a side of this society, suffice to say that I now avoid it.
Some of you out there might think of this as the Loser Mentality. I disagree. While being financially stable and able is important, I think being a successful person is a far more important achievement. There is no value in being a successful businessman when you have been a lousy human being.
There are hippies out there who proclaims themselves to be successful lovers. The man down the street, living out of a cardboard box, wearing tattered clothes, smelling like last night's emptied-out beer barrel...he's a successful homeless man. The kid with nasty temper who just toppled his mom's filled-to-the-brim shopping cart, he's a successful kid suffering from Terrible Two syndrome. The homemaker who has been caring for her kids and loving husband is a successful home-maker.
Why is there a yardstick with which we often use to judge others? Is this benchmark for real...or is it man-made?
In order to climb the corporate ladder, you cannot get to the top unless you have spent time plotting another person's professional demise. In order to be successful in business, you have to rejoice in the downfall or mediocre performance of your competitor. In order to be famous, you have to compromise your dignity, pride and sometimes your priorities.
If I wanted to be a successful person as defined by society, I most probably can. But do I want to watch the downfall of another person? No. Do I want to pop a champagne bottle while watching my competitors clear out their offices or warehouses and applying for bankruptcy? No.
My focus is on being a successful person because by faith, I believe that when I am a successful person, success in other areas of my life will follow. All I need to do is to keep to my principles, be as good as I can be at what I do.
And believe it or not, the yardstick for success that society is using today? It keeps moving. The moment you think that you are successful, you are no longer successful. You continue to strive for this success that is never-ending. The more you get, the more you want, the more you believe is out there. People are never satisfied with what they have – bet you have heard THAT one.
Therefore, not only is the definition of success faulty, it is relative to what you believe in. And do you know what makes one feel successful? Passion. Do what you do with as much passion and joy as possible, you will no longer find the need for heaps of self-help books...or articles like this one, for that matter.