What is success?
Most literally, success is simply the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. (Google Dictionary)
Success comes and goes, and our own versions of success can change as time goes on. Everyone’s version of success will always be unique. When someone feels successful personally, others may still judge them as unsuccessful only because their version of success is different.
Some people feel success is tangible, like a new car or a better paying job. Others will argue success is intangible, like the fulfillment people feel that comes from helping others, such as volunteering.
There are positives and negatives to both sides.
Tangible success gives safety, comfort and status. A shelter with a front door that locks and all of the windows intact is both safer and warmer. Technology gives us convenience and entertainment (and yes distraction, but that’s not the focus of this blog *wink*). Being attractive brings attention and popularity, a sense of belonging.
On the other side, tangibles almost always cost money. The pursuit of tangibles becomes the pursuit of money. People without money may be denied basic shelter, food, health care and entertainment. People who feel they do not have enough money will always be unsatisfied. The people who have money do not know when they have enough, and continually acquire it, often in ludicrous amounts. This divides the wealthy and not wealthy both economically and socially.
Intangible success gives a sense of purpose, belonging and the meaning of life. There are obvious reasons that this has benefits – contentment and fulfillment. People who see success in the intangible sense are often self-described as happier.
Intangibles however, do have a downside. They can be used as an excuse to live poorly or unsafely. People who view success as intangible may use it as a reason to disregard and even criticize those who view success differently. People who prefer intangible success may create an aura of superiority around themselves.
You are probably wondering at this point if there is any hope of a successful life?
We shouldn’t feel that success is something we need to obtain – either tangible or intangible. When we feel the need to obtain success (financial, spiritual, social, physical, or mental) we are saying that we don’t accept ourselves as we are. We are saying we aren’t good enough or that we should be better. This is setting us up for constant disappointment and shame.
How do you truly achieve a successful life?
Accept yourself as you are, honestly and completely. Sure there are things you may want to change. We all have things we want more of (or less of). However, recognize these things do not define your success.
Aurae Wellness Coaching helps others learn to cope in this society and live a less stressful life. We do individual coaching as well as coaching for businesses struggling with excessive workplace stress.