So what is success? It's difficult to achieve something if you don't understand what it is. If you think in terms of money, J. Paul Getty was about as successful as one can hope to be. He was worth billions. Yet he had a failed marriage, was often lonely and frustrated. It is reported that Mr. Getty once said, "I would give up all the money I have ever made if I could have just one happy marriage." Celebrity doesn't guarantee success, either. Think of the many stars that have fallen into poverty and obscurity, when their once-adoring fans turned their backs on them. I bet if you could ask these humans, they'd tell you that money, fame, and a guaranteed table at the hippest new restaurant, didn't make them happy, loved, or even feel successful. True success comes with self-referral; looking inwards for fulfillment.
The external world often holds way too much power over us. It has a way of making everything seem "larger than life" and thus we become small in comparison. Or so it seems. New. Bigger. Better. Faster. These are the buzz words that, if we're not careful, can ruin our sense of self-worth and diminish our feelings of happiness and gratitude for what we have. One of the biggest issues with looking for success on the outside is that those things are all temporary. Material items come and go. Our looks fade. Money can be made, and lost, in a heartbeat. Putting our sense of self-worth into these objects can leave us fearful. What if I can't keep them up? What if I lose my money and I can't afford the over-sized house any more? Or the three cars? No one will love me if my looks fade. I don't know about you, but I get sad and fearful just thinking about these things!
Learning to value the truly important things in life is what will bring us the most success and feelings of satisfaction, happiness, and gratitude. For me, those things include; my family and friends, my good health, my sense of humor, my creativity, and my ability to survive...even flourish...when times are tough. I have faith in myself. I know that everything I need to be happy, I already have. I was born with them. And so were you! Too often, though, we misplace our values and think they're lost forever. They're still there, right where they've always been. We just need to do a little inner housework, cleaning up all the clutter and debris that's accumulated over the years. Your core values and beliefs just need a little dusting off.
The easiest way to start seeing yourself as truly successful is, I believe, to start a gratitude journal. Making a daily list of all the things you have to be grateful for allows you see that you're life is really pretty darn good. And the more things you list, the more good things will come to you. I've had a hard time, recently, making myself write in my gratitude journal. My life haven't been going smoothly, what with having to move and all. This can make it difficult to find anything positive to write about. So I started off with small stuff; like my comfy bed and my trusty laptop, along with my wonderful family and many friends. Before I knew it, I had quite a list going! Someone else might look at my list and think, "Hey, Irwin, You're scraping the bottom of the barrel with your list!" But these are the things that I value...the things that are important to me. The laptop and bed will, at some point need replacing as do all material objects; but right here, right now, they're working fine and I am grateful for them and for the value they bring to my life.
I'm not hugely successful in the way others might think of it, but I know that I am happy, fulfilled, filled with gratitude, wonder, and awe. And in my book (and that's the only one that really counts), I've made it BIG!
I'm a huge success. And so are you. If you take a few minutes today and look deep inside at all the wonderful things you are, you soon seen that success isn't about stuff at all. It's about feeling good with who you are as a human. Just ask those who are closest to you. They will tell you what they've always known...You are a Rock Star!