What’s Success To You?

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Success Or Failure
Success Or Failure

Success is not only about having more money and a higher social status. It manifests in being less stressed, less worried, and more peaceful and happy.

~ Remez SASSON

Success is a concept that does not lend itself to easy definition. It has as many different definitions as we have different people on the face of this Earth.

You have heard the common adage which says, “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.” So what is success to you may not be success to another person.

Whilst you may have your own definition of success, society pushes for the acceptance of another definition. The modern world is increasingly becoming materialistic. 

As a result, people are defining success in terms of having lots of money and material possessions. When a prominent person dies, the media is quick to give us a list of his material possessions and his net worth rather telling us about his life and whether it was inspiring and worth emulating by others.

Success covers many different areas of human life. It’s not possible that your success can cover all the areas. It may be limited to a specific area of life.

Success is subjective. You cannot say that your success is superior to the success of others. Our values drive our lives and the success we want.

There are people who live a minimalist life. We cannot say such people can’t be successful. They ensure they have the basic necessities of life, so that they have time to focus on the things that bring joy, happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment.

Minimalists keep only what is absolutely necessary, so there is space for other things that bring real happiness. Their focus is on living a peaceful and happy life.

We should not be looking at success in terms of what one has accumulated in their lifetime. We should not look at their net-worth and conclude that such people are successful.

We should consider whether they impacted lives with what they got. Would anyone take them as their role model?

What treatment did they give to the lowly in society? How did they treat those who were marginalized?

Were their family members happy with their success? What about the communities in which they lived? Did they make any significant contributions to the development of their communities?

People need to be reminded that there are different kinds of success. We have professional success. 

When we talk about professional success, we mean those who have reached the apex of their career and have found happiness and satisfaction.

We have economic success. They are incredibly rich and wealthy.

We have financial success. These people have no money problems; they have lots money.

Political success is another area to be considered. Here I’m not talking about politicians who used their positions to amass wealth. They are like thieves who should not be respected.

Politicians who have rendered selfless service to their people and left office with honour and integrity have political success. These are people who have impacted their nations and the world at large with their ideas. They may be dead and gone, but their ideas continue to inspire people. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Nelson Mandela would be considered as people who have achieved political success.

We also have health success. These are people who have enjoyed physical and mental health throughout their lives.  

We have success in charity. These are people who dedicate their lives to helping the poor and destitute even though they might not have been rich themselves. They help others without sacrificing their own health and well-being.

Think of religious success or service to God. Devout muslims and Christians would be put in this category.

Confidence tricksters who have used the Bible to extort and pull a fast one on unsuspecting congregants to enrich themselves are not considered.

Let’s consider intellectual success. These are people who are impacting or have impacted lives through their intellectual works. Motivational speakers, writers and authors would come under the category of intellectual success.

Parental success is another area to consider. Child upbringing is one of the most formidable tasks parents could take on in their lives.

The ability of parents to raise children who are morally upright, well adjusted, ethical, honest and have integrity whilst living purposeful lives would be considered as having parental success.

The list of types of success could be endless. Success means different things to different people.

In life, choices have to be made. Your current life is the outcome of the choices that you have made.

Do not allow anyone to define success for you. It’s personal.

Be reminded that success does not always make us happy. There are people who are rich and wealthy, but are not happy with their lives.

For me true success is when our lives are making a difference in the lives of the people around us. It’s about giving back to society. 

Success is when people admire you, they want to listen to you, they are inspired to see value in themselves, when people look up to you as their hero or role model and want to live by your ideas. You also feel happy doing what you love and loving what you do. You dedicate your life helping people without sacrificing your own well-being. You’re physically and mentally great whilst enjoying the process of growth and development.

In conclusion, you can achieve success in any area of human life. But this comes with choices.

If you decide to achieve success in a specific area of your life, you are also forgoing success in another area. Your life is the sum of all the choices you have or haven’t made.

Whilst you are free to make choices, you can’t escape the consequences of those choices. Whatever success you strive for, should have as its goal, peace, happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment.

Yours in inspiration,

ARK AWOLUGUTU, Writer & Author

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