Are you successful?

jacket picMost people want to be successful, but what is success? For many, it is about the things they own, their personal status, or how much money they make.

The Definition of Success

Some measure success as if it should follow an upward path, and improve with each passing year. They see it as perhaps being in the right place financially for their age, or at least having the right title. They feel they should be at a certain level of affluence by a certain point in their lives. Others do not give much credence to the path, but rather see success as equated with assets.

How high on the ladder do you need to climb, or how much do you need to own to consider yourself a success?

We say that you don’t need to climb any ladder, and you don’t need to own a thing. The above definitions of success are flawed. Society has conditioned us to follow our egoic longings and so we continue to want more. When we are in the process of pursuing the American Dream, we do have some satisfaction, but a sense of dissatisfaction often emerges.

Success is Happiness

Instead of thinking about what it will take for you to be successful, think about this: When asked what people really want, they generally say they just want to be happy. They think that society’s definition of success will make them happy, but what they really want is to experience joy as much as possible. Make sense?

So success is feeling joy most of the time. While perhaps easier to attain than something outside of yourself, it does take some practice. To be happy, we have to train ourselves to think differently.

How to be Happy  

We have to unlearn some of society’s programming. But to do this, we only have to do two things. One, we must be grateful each day for what we do have, including the people in our lives.  Two, we must connect with our higher selves so that we become comfortable in that inner space and experience who we really are.  When we are satisfied with our choices, are appreciative of all we have, and are in touch with our true selves, we will move toward happiness and create a very successful life.


“It’s a fragile thing, this life we lead. If I think too much I can get overwhelmed by the grace by which we live our lives with death over our shoulders. Want you to know that should I go I always love you, held you high above too. I studied your face. The fear goes away.” – Eddie Vedder

heart_clipart_loveWe do not know when we will take our last breath on this planet during this go round and we hardly think about it. And if we ponder the subject of death too much, we begin to worry about every single thing we do.

 We live our lives with this knowledge close to the surface, but at other times we live with reckless abandon. We see death very differently at the beginning of our lives as we feel invincible as children.

Children are closest to the truth of knowing that we are eternal. But as time goes on our egos develop, and we learn to be in the world, and then we realize that as human beings we have an expiration date. And while we realize this with our human minds, ours souls cannot fathom it.

 Did you ever notice that it is impossible for us to imagine we will not exist? Just like we cannot conceive of infinity—though we know it intellectually–we cannot integrate the fact that we will cease. Our human brains simply cannot comprehend that one day everything will stop. And this is because the truth is that everything will not stop. Our essence will always exist.  We are infinite. Our higher-selves unconsciously takes that knowledge to the forefront by prompting us to live each day as if it will never end, which is why we know deep down in our souls that life doesn’t end.

 At the beginning of this post, we quoted lines from Pearl Jam’s Sirens not to accentuate that death looms closely, but to demonstrate the solution for the quandary: Love takes the fear away. We see that as the message underlying the lyrics. Death does not destroy love. Quite the contrary, love laughs at death’s door.  

While the song focuses on death, it actually calls on our inner knowing about love. Love after all is the healing life force we desire, and the fragility of life simply reminds us of its importance.