“Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get.”
For years, I’ve defined success on a strictly materialistic basis. A big house, a branded handbag, an impressive bank balance. I’ve worked crazy hard to get there, only to realise that I’ve been chasing the wrong dream all along.
I’ve ended up exhausted, confused and emptied out of the passion and purpose that had guided me for many years. I understood something needed to change when my body started showing chronic, concerning symptoms.
Since then, I’ve made it my priority to slow down, in the effort to observe and understand what was wrong and how I could fix it. I’ve spent the last months analysing and questioning my values and beliefs about love, work, family and friendship.
The verdict? I urgently needed a new definition of success – one that’s unrelated to the status symbols and standardised social norms and that instead takes into account my personal experiences and needs.
I want to work towards a life I truly desire instead of chasing stressful versions of success that make me sick, tired and unfulfilled. A healthy, happy version of success that’s balanced and sustainable.
A lifelong perfectionist and over-achiever, I have always assumed that if I consciously chose to do less, it would mean that I’m thinking small, selling myself short, or generally not reaching my full potential.
Now, I’ve finally learned that success is never a comparison and that external validation does not necessarily equate to fulfilment. Rather, it is achieved through a pro-active exploration of new paths and defining what is and isn’t possible.
The future we create may look completely different than we visualised and the process may evolve in ways we didn’t anticipate. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be disappointing. It could end up being far better than we knew to imagine.
What are the parameters for a successful life? The seven secret ingredients to a happy life by Brian Tracy seem like a great start. Because success may seem like the goal, but happiness is the way to get there.
- Peace Of Mind. It is the highest human good. Without it, nothing else has much value.
- Health And Energy. Just as peace of mind is our normal and natural mental state, health and energy is our normal and natural physical state.
- Loving Relationships. Happiness in life comes from our relationships with others, and it is these relationships that make us truly human.
- Financial Freedom. You cannot be truly free until and unless you have enough money that you are no longer preoccupied with it.
- Worthy Goals And Ideas. You can only be happy with yourself when you are working step by step toward something that is really important to you.
- Self-Knowledge And Self-Awareness. To perform your best, you need to know who you are and why you think and feel the way you do.
- Personal Fulfilment. A successful life begins with self-improvement and ends with a accomplishing all that you wanted to.