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.

Ever Wonder Why You Encounter Negative Experiences?

If you are undergoing a negative experience, think of it merely as a life situation. Situations change. Sometimes, it is hard to see what good might come from a negative circumstance—an illness, a death, an injury—but there are things you can do to grow from each and every one, no matter what life dishes out.

Although your beliefs may lead you to a place where it is inconceivable to see the situation in a good light, you can shift your thinking. You can change your mind. Realize that whatever you are going through is temporary and that you can ease the emotional discomfort.

Understand the Purpose of the Circumstance

We encounter challenging situations because we are meant to grow. Without that situation, with everything going well, we would miss the opportunity to learn. Further, some situations force us into action, and without that experience, we would miss out on some of the good things life has to offer. When you are unhappy about a circumstance, ask yourself:  What am I learning about myself at a deep level? Your answer will lead you closer to understanding its purpose.

Assess Your Response

When you confront a negative situation, examine your response. Are you sad? Are you confused? Are you angry? Figure out what you are feeling, and then examine whether your response is desirable. For example, you become angry at your boss because he gave someone else the promotion you wanted, and while you might think your reaction is appropriate, the anger only hurts you, so change your thinking. If you consider that maybe the other guy deserved to be promoted too, and your boss had a tough time making that decision, you will achieve greater clarity. By examining circumstances, and understanding them better, you will be effectively turning down the emotional intensity.

Change Your Focus  

You need not focus on a troubling circumstance, even if it seems important. You can place your attention elsewhere. Our advice may appear rather flippant. After all, we don’t know what you are going through, but we do know that when we are experiencing challenges, we need a shift in perception. We go to the park, or watch an inspirational film, or visit a friend, and we are in a better place emotionally so we can handle the situation with clarity. On the other hand, if we dwell on the situation, it keeps us from enjoying the day, and nothing improves.

Experience the Joy

Finally, think about things that bring you joy and make sure to put more of these activities into your life. While this sounds rather difficult to accomplish when you are confronting a major life issue, making small moves away from negativity can go a long way to provide momentum to create a better life.