“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” ~ Albert Einstein
It is grand to have a vision. It is grand to know what you want to do with your life.
However, success is not simply winning at something, even if you feel you’ve won at life.
You might design the next greatest technology or win in a contest of some sort. You might even win the lottery. Or you may be an empress or emperor to an empire.
None of these milestones or significant gains define success. It is not monetary worth. It is not popularity. It is not status. It is not how much or how little influence someone has. It is not even achieving one’s goals or rising to overcome every obstacle.
Success is knowing you have reflected your values in all you’ve done. You’ve chosen your character. It’s not about what you did—it’s about why you did it.
Are you just trying to further advance yourself? Or are you living authentically, affecting all the lives you can in the best way possible? You must live with meaning, not define yourself by any other measure of success.
One way you can decide if you are truly successful is in the joy you experience in day-to-day life. You can find yourself happy again perhaps after a long road of hard work and struggle to get where you are going. Even just the dream of happiness can put someone on the right path. After all, it’s about the pursuit.
And the key ingredient to success? Also, happiness.
No one can be truly successful without happiness. And happiness comes from appreciation of life and the simple things. It’s about giving, not receiving.
You have do things because you are somewhat altruistic. You must want to create good. That way, you can also feel good. You must know that you have worth, too. It’s the only way you can be happy.
When you achieve happiness, you actually get a taste of real success. Not everyone can be happy in their current circumstances, and that is perfectly fine. It’s okay to want more. But everyone can develop from their current circumstances and learn to grow, to be more adaptable, to rise, and to reason better than they were able to before their hardships. They can give back. They can influence someone else. They can do an act of kindness.
Struggle is often a necessary road to success. It builds character and vigor. But happiness is not about just loving life during the struggle. It is about choosing to appreciate your own worth and value in a world that would dictate otherwise. It’s about seeing potential in anything or anyone.
Success is found in the simple things. For example: you graduate from college, and while you may have a new degree being handed to you, you may also have a young niece or nephew in the audience looking at you with love. Both are of value to you, but which would you die for in a heartbeat? Exactly.
Think of those dying, in fact, and reflecting on the lives they have lived. It wasn’t the money. It wasn’t their valued input in anything. It wasn’t their achievements or awards. Instead, it was those they were able to serve in this lifetime and live for and love. It was for the simple things that it all became worthwhile.
“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” ~ Tuesdays with Morrie
Success remains elusive to those who are unable to appreciate life or, more than anything, give back. The selfless remain real with themselves and others in their journey to success. That authenticity guides them. The only way to become successful is to learn how to live with what you have in front of you and use it to the best of your ability.
When you only focus on being number one, your value system becomes compromised. You learn to look away from the suffering and the struggle of this world to only feast upon the riches you may have gained. Happiness is often the cost to many people’s ventures.
They want to be number one? Well, it’s lonely at the top. They want to be the best? Someone better will come along.
To be successful you must be able to live with yourself. This is about having a clear conscience. It’s a road where you know each step that you take matters. It’s a road where you know that no matter the twists and turns, you will show up and live this life.
This road is the toughest road because you have to earn it. But it’s also the most worthwhile.
The fact that you even want to be successful means you are halfway there. It means you can be counted on. It means that your dreams may be worthwhile. Follow them. Make sure your dreams have meaning and purpose so that you stay driven. You will achieve so much more if the goals are relevant to your idea of who you want to be. Because every day we are creating ourselves.
Every day we are here to live for purpose and to overcome the odds. Here’s how:
>> If you are overcoming anything, you are already a leader.
>> If you are changing anyone’s life, you are already a force to be reckoned with.
>> If you know the value of your own life and what you can do, you are already talented.
>> If you look at your circumstances and learn how to live through them, you are already a survivor.
>> If you build what comes next for generations to come, you are already a genius.
If you have successful ventures and achievements, you can be happy, but you do not have to wait until you have them to be happy. If you can appreciate the simple things and give back, you have found great success.
Not everyone’s drive leads them to where they want to go. But the difference between those who succeed and those who do not is being willing to do the work. It is because they have a clear conscience that they find the gumption to hold on and the grit to keep going.
There is nothing you can’t accomplish once you set your mind to it. It doesn’t mean that your dream will stay the same; it may change. It doesn’t mean that you will have it all figured it out.
What it does mean is you will use the obstacles to your advantage, because that is what a real genius does.
What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? What makes you happiest of all? If you can answer these questions with authenticity, you can find success.
These are the driving forces of your journey.