Success – What does success mean to you? 

Success can be defined within your family. Some see success within their health, money or overcoming a difficult or unlucky situation or event. Whatever success means to you, I invite you to look at it ecologically. By that I mean something that fits, is comfortable and makes sense in your life (including your wider influences). An example would be how others depend on us and we, in turn, may at times depend on others. Finding a balance brings us into alignment and allows us to see that we are all interconnected with many facets of our lives.

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Balance and Alignment

You can liken this to a cake. There is no point in having huge successes in one or more portions of the cake when the rest of the cake is crumbling around you. Using your skills for the good of yourself and the wider community/family around reaps far better rewards. Understanding that your map of the world may not be the view of the wider world and others around you, it is just your point of view, will help enormously.  We all have a bias and tendency to tell our own story or version of things. Somewhere within our story are three things, our truth, their truth and something in between. Balancing and understanding other’s thoughts and feelings and taking time to be considerate to others expands your map of the world. We all navigate from a similar but different map in our heads. Neither is wrong and in understanding this, that we are all differently perfect in our own way increases your awareness. This can be defined as success, the ability of compassion and understanding.  

A friend of mine was very poor as a child and is now very proud of their standing and has collected many possessions which they feel demonstrates they have made it, become successful in their eyes. A lovely home, the best, the top brands dawn their home and they are super house proud to the point of being clinical. The one thing that disappointed them was that they didn’t feel happy because they had few friends to share their success with. Don’t get me wrong, they had many friends, but the friends preferred to meet at a coffee house rather than share, what they called, their success.  

The reason for this was on visiting their home you would immediately be handed a pair of blue plastic slip on socks. Your coat would be whisked from you and it would disappear in a cupboard. If you sat on their sofa, they would jump up at times and re-adjust them from behind, making you feel uncomfortable. Rather than make conversation with the person about their day the person would be centred on what you thought of their new material things in the house rather than how you felt or how your day was going. While their success was their surroundings (that on the outside), I am happy to settle for a clean but lived-in home where I can make time for conversation over a home cooked meal with family, where we all share our thoughts of the day. 

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Obsessive Pride

I think it is fair to say that your success should also be ethical and respectful and individually defined. Your vision of success will not be the same as my or another’s individual vision of success. To have success at the expense of others is an ethical detriment. An example of this could simply be manipulating others around you to get your own way, either at work or in your home life. Manipulating others in this way, for self-gain would be detrimental and disrespectful. It is important to respect other people’s views too as they share your space. 

It is also important to respect your views as your success of how you feel about yourself should be defined by you. No one should be defined by others. How many times have you heard the story of a child following a career path purely because their parents thought it best they had a ‘proper job’ with security and a pension.  

If you spend your time listening to the white noise of other opinions, judgements and thoughts around you it will dampen your view of how you see yourself. Training yourself to know when to turn the volume down of other’s opinions (as this is merely their map of how they see things) is very empowering. Being focused on your health and wellbeing will feed your soul. 

woman in gray sweater sitting on green couch

Opinion Means Sharing Thoughts

Not following your path may bring a feeling of you are not enough. Not enough just to be happy as an actor, you become a doctor instead, yet yearning to express yourself. Outside influences can bring us success but on the inside your light is dimmed because you are pleasing other people. This pattern of events is often challenged by us in later life when we feel more confident to follow our own instincts and find ourselves growing from the inside out. Fulfilling your own identity will bring you far more success. 

Your life and how you map it out is a personal thing, how you slice your cake up, and it should be your decision. I invite you to sit a while with your thoughts and ask yourself what you truly want. Separating your thoughts on what you think you “should do” and drilling down to what you feel is important to you will define your own definition of success.  

There is no point in having the trappings of material success if it causes you stress, ill health, which in turn brings about physical ailments. Remember, you have nothing to prove to others. Filling your cup with such trappings may only leave you disillusioned and empty on the inside. Working so hard you don’t have time to smell the roses will leave you depleted.  

They have a saying in the airlines that in an emergency you must fit your own mask first before thinking of saving anyone else. Practicing self-care is not selfish. Running your internal battery down can cause you to be emotionally imbalanced. When we are emotionally imbalance, we tend to make wrong choices. Taking a moment to look back at some events in your life you may think now, what was I thinking.  Most of us have all been there.

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Sometimes We Have to Take the First Drink

You live in your mind and your body 24/7, by planting the seeds of what you determine as success will fill your inner landscape with love. Balancing all parts of your map and how you see, and construct life will benefit your wellbeing, so I invite you to take some time to make it fit into Your World.  

There are no limits to your imagination or to what you can accomplish, except the limits you place on your own thinking.

Jane Osbourne

Jane’s Website

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