Whose Success Are You Chasing?

Written by Scott July 21, 2011

Whos Success

“The lack of clearly defined success is what keeps one’s dreams and happiness just out of reach of their reality.”

Think about the goals you’re running like crazy to accomplish. Think of the promotion you want. The job you’d love. The cars, the houses, all of it.

What are you chasing?

The thing is most people know what they’re chasing but few people know why they’re chasing it.

Is it because those are things that mean something to you or is it just because they mean something to those around you?

When was the last time you sat down to define what success really means for you?

It’s so easy to get caught up in societies definition… That’s usually the money, the paycheck, the status, the title, the clout. After all, it’s the only thing that can easily be compared, so it’s the thing that get’s talked about. My last year at university all people wanted to know was what the job paid and was it a name that everyone knew. There was no talk of whether it was something they actually wanted or something they were good at.

For most of us that comparison stuck.

So we forever adopt, often unconsciously, someone else’s definition and claim it as our own. Then we start to base our biggest life decisions accordingly.

All of a sudden we are busting our ass to live societies dreams, giving no thought to our own.

Is it any surprise why so many people can’t get a grasp on their passion, let alone live it?

Our surroundings are dictating so much of what we decide is correct. And most the time those around us don’t have a clue why they’re following it either. The blind continues to lead the blind.

The problem is that you’ll spend your whole life going after things you never genuinely wanted in the first place. Do you know how many people become doctors and lawyers and corporate junkies because that’s what makes their parents proud? Do you know how many are pulling their hair out as a result? I don’t even want to get into the numbers.

It’s simple, if you don’t do something for your own reasons, you’ll either do it terribly, be terribly unhappy doing it, or both.

I am tired of what society says is successful. So far it’s resulted in the average person being overweight, miserable in their job and with no idea how they want to impact the world. Thanks but no thanks.

I used to live that way. I never felt good enough and was never satisfied. Comparison haunted me. A friend would get a promotion and instead of congratulating him, I secretly got angry that he now made more money and looked ‘better’ than me.

That’s no way to live.

Define your own success and nothing else matters.

For my first few years out of college I walked around mindlessly trying to accomplish what others said was important. It was so bad that I even envied my investment banker buddies whom made 100k a year, despite knowing that they worked seven days a week and spent the night under their desk more often than not. But I had no other way to compare. So I constantly felt inadequate.

Then something interesting happened, I went out and found work that actually mattered to me. Work that allowed me to use my strengths, to build things, to make a difference. It was a feeling I’d never felt (now it’s one I can’t do without). Suddenly I didn’t care at all about what my investment banker buddies were doing. It didn’t matter what they were making or what people thought of their title.

No one’s success is the same as yours. Once you take the time to define it, you’ll stop comparing to others and you’ll start working on things that truly matter to you. Life becomes a lot more fun.

Achievement is in the eye of the beholder. The longer we follow societies predefined path, the further we will be from living ours.

How to get started…

Every time I walk into my house I see a plaque hanging on the wall. It’s a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote. His definition of success. It’s a constant reminder that the things the world claims are so important, aren’t all that matter. They are secondary at best.

I hope he inspires you to define yours:

To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent

people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation

of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to

appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the

world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch,

or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has

breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

But wait, he forgot to mention the money part!

It’s so easy to take a look at someone who has what looks like a meaningless job or hardly any money and think they’re nowhere. But who are we to judge? They might be at the top of their world because they put first things first and set themselves up to win. The world envy’s the outcast. They just don’t know how to express it.

Success is not found in getting the most prestigious job, biggest paycheck or working more hours than you thought existed. Just because we’ve been brainwashed, doesn’t make it correct.

All of us have different paths to walk. We need to start acting like it.

Stop changing who you are to succeed.

Real success comes from inside. From knowing you are living who you are and doing your part.

But first you must unfollow the crowd.

It’s time we redefine what matters.

In two sentences or less, what’s your definition of success? Please share in the comments below. Inspire us!

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