4 Things We Must Know About Success

We often hear that finding a clear definition to success is as hard as success itself.

It’s one of those things that can boast about a dictionary definition which says it is “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose”. There is also a popular definition that equates success to money, fame, and power. But isn’t there much more to success?

In earlier articles from Positive Attitude For Success series, we discussed how success and happiness are most sought after jewels on this planet, how they are interlinked, and how we can acquire them. 

In this particular article, we'll discuss how success is misunderstood, why it commonly stays elusive, and how being happy is critical for success. We'll explore following core attributes of success that we must keep in mind all the time:

  1. Success is Personal
  2. Happiness Leads to Success
  3. Success Expects Us to Know Our Deep Rooted Desires
  4. Success is a Journey


1. Success Is Personal

The biggest hurdle to success is often in our minds, and it starts with a misplaced definition of success. We are conditioned to view success through the lens of society, media, family, friends, colleagues - virtually everyone but ourselves.

Success, we are told, is about acquiring riches, social status, and power over others. We are reminded that our success will be measured by the size of our houses, the fleet of our cars, the brands our bodies flash, and the number of vacations we take every year. Worse, we are made to see success relative to other people. Right from our childhood, we are coached to study hard, get good grades, find a well paying job, and continue to push harder and harder to get ahead and claim that “successful life”.

Maybe this popular view of success has its time and place in our journeys. Maybe it does help in some ways. Let’s save that debate for later. The point here is that sooner we take charge of our lives, sooner we break away from someone else’s idea of success and define success for ourselves, happier we’ll be.


2. Happiness Leads To Success

We must recognize that while money is crucial for living a comfortable life, financial and career success alone does not guarantee happiness. We cannot undermine the value money plays in our overall well being, however, the currency trap is dangerous. We must not forget that if we don’t experience joy in pursuit of something, money included, soon it will start to feel worthless, and even suffocating.

The real joy, true happiness, is in what we do to achieve what we desire.

Neuroscience confirms that it’s the happiness that’s key to success not the other way around. And happiness is influenced by the vehicle we choose, the act of driving, and the company we have -- not just the destination.


3. Success Expects Us To Know Our Deep Rooted Desires

We must articulate what success and happiness really mean to us personally. What exactly gives us that feeling of being happy and successful? What’s our purpose on this planet? What is it that we want out of our lives?

It's safe to say that we all are in pursuit of a good life. But what is a "good life" for one person may not be exciting enough for another. 

For some, success may really be about money, and things and joys that money can buy - and that’s ok. For others, it may be having control over self, or even complete renunciation. For some it may be about landing a well paying job, rising in the corporate ladder, buying a new house, a new car, or having a nice vacation. For others, it may be about having a life full of love, respect, and great health, helping people get through their lives more joyfully, or just being able to put their skills and talents to a worthwhile use.

The first step in any chase is to know exactly what it is that we are after, and why.

If we are not clear where we are headed, our path will be dictated by the pulls and pushes of people and situations we encounter along the way. And, we are sure to feel lost sooner or later. If we don’t know why exactly a pursuit matters to us, we are highly likely to feel overwhelmed at the smallest of obstacles and abandon it altogether. Therefore, it’s critical to have an absolutely clear understanding of both what and why to be on a happy success journey.


4. Success Is a Journey

Regardless of what exactly success means to us and how we define it for ourselves, we must remember that success is a journey - not a life event. This journey starts the moment we take the very first step toward whatever it is that we are aspiring for, doing what we enjoy doing most. And this success journey ends only if we allow any setbacks along the way to stop us. If we stay the course regardless of the hurdles or setbacks, we are winning. We are being successful. We are enjoying the ride. We are being happy.


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