Society has an odd and narrow definition of success. Reality television portrays success as a lot of money, cars and fame. Yet, this is simply an illusion that society portrays. Unfortunately, we buy into it and believe that real success equals wealth or fame. Because the media and advertisements continually sell us this message, we begin to believe it. We also see it in our friends’ social media accounts.
Many of us begin to think that we are losing in life if we don’t have a particular house, job, car or status. We compare ourselves to the people around us and feel bad that we haven’t achieved what they have. Yet, we forget to take into account that society’s definition of success is skewed. You don’t have to find success in only the material and external things of the world.
Here are 7 forgotten ways of defining success:
1. Finding happiness within
Don’t look for success. Find out what makes you happy and do that instead. Happiness is a choice you make daily. Happiness is your perspective. Happiness is being grateful for what you have. Happiness is doing the things you enjoy doing and being around the people you enjoy being around. Happiness is living your values.
2. Having strong friendships
You’re connected more than ever but may have very little interaction with the people in your life. Much of our lives now come from the virtual world. If you’ve given up on friendships or think they’re too much effort, give them another try. Being around friends will help you laugh more, stay positive and feel more connected with the people around you. Even if you have a couple of friends who are close to you, you will feel more supported and cared for. Build, cultivate and care for your friends and you’ll achieve a level of success few people have.
“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.” – Helen Keller
3. Actively working on your passion
You don’t have to quit your job and travel to Bali, Indonesia to work on your passion. Whatever it is you enjoy doing, do that today. Start on your passion project even if it means doing research. Any time you spend on what you’re passionate about is success. Don’t worry about how it will make money or where it’s going. Each day, do the things you passionately enjoy doing. Do the things that don’t feel like work. Prioritize your passion project so that you’re working on it during your free time.
4. Helping improve people’s lives
An instant way to feel successful is to give. You can give your money, but more importantly, give your time, talents and abilities. Sometimes your presence for someone or just listening to someone is all that matters. The best part about giving is that you end up feeling much better about yourself. You feel generous, abundant, helpful and happy. Look for ways to give. Say “yes” to the next person who asks for your help. Give money to the panhandler on the street. Become a generous human being and make the world better.
5. Showing others love
Along the lines of friendships and helping others, love others. Loving others means being there for them during the good times and the bad times. Showing love means being compassionate, empathetic and helpful. Showing love means understanding where people are coming from and letting go of grudges. It’s extending kindness to people you know and to strangers. It’s saying “sorry” quickly and forgiving others so that you can heal the pain. Success is having love, giving love, showing love and receiving love.
6. Standing up after falling
Success is resilience, persistence and hanging in there when life gets rough. When you fall down and stand back up, you learn that you can overcome obstacles and face disappointments. Like some people, I let life cripple me to the point that I didn’t feel like waking up anymore. Yet day by day, I thought that I did have choices, I could make improvements and life could get better. It did! I’ve realized that coming back from my greatest falls is one of my strengths. I appreciate my challenges and have faith that I can face them with more courage.
“If one dream dies, dream another dream. If you get knocked down, get back up and go again.” – Joel Osteen
7. Living your own truth
The best way to find success is to live your own truth. What does this mean? It means living your life according to your own rules, your own values and your own intuition. This is often easier said than done, but if you keep the noise out, you can do it. Figure out what it is you want in life and go after it. Listen to what your heart desires and pursue that. Listen to your dreams and follow them. Listen to your calling and follow the path you’re being called to follow.