What is Success?

What is success?  And have you asked yourself who gets to decide if you're successful? Have you thought about we can blindly walk along and allow society & the judgement of others to decide the measures of our successes and what that looks like in your life?

Merriam-Webster describes success as the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence (a position of prominence or superiority).

Of course, there are other definitions one could find, but this one struck me as most accurate in today's worldy sense. It says to me, that to be successful, one must acquire money & stuff, have people like you and be in a position of power or prominence...no wonder so many people are miserable today.

Just line it up, get two out of three of those and be miserable because you don't have the other. It says I have to have or I have to control or I have to be liked. It says I ought to focus on what I don't have. It says I need to focus on what others have that I don't (covetousness). It says if only I have all of this, I'll be successful, and practically speaking, happy.

Think about it - you can have money, family, but hate your job and be miserable. You can have a powerful, prominent career and be able to buy anything you want but if nobody likes you you're not successful. 

I think a lot about what I want my life to look like. What I want to define me. What I want to allocate my time, talents and energy toward. I want to live a life that's based on more than money, having people like me, and being in a position of power. I don't want to climb a corporate ladder, and was fed up with office politics.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.”
- Mary Oliver

When I quit my job in June, I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I knew that I needed to let the muddy water clear. I needed to regain clarity, focus & direction in my life. I needed to let the distractions float away and let go of the hold that constant boundary-less workplace communications had on my peace & serenity.  I know I needed to sit and meditate more. I needed to read more, gain greater perspective. I needed to focus on gratitude for my health & life. I needed to eat better and prioritize time for exercise and mindfulness.

As I continue to focus on these things (6 months to the day I left my previous employer), the answers haven't necessarily all been finalized. What's stronger is my faith in things will unfold the way they're meant to and that I will be at peace along the journey - centered amid the ups & downs.

Today, I'm (largely) contented in most areas of my life. I'm at peace in my heart. And I've been deeply drawn to the One who gives me breath & salvation for my soul. I'm available when the calls come & and focus on rest and spiritual development. 

I also know how deeply broken to the core I am alone, but grace has entered my heart and allows me to live free & peacefulToday I'm growing, while praying to surrender more areas of my life. I'm seeking. I'm striving. I'm quieter. I'm contemplative. I'm inward focused. I'm action-oriented.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
– George Bernard Shaw

Have you asked yourself about success lately? For me, it's been valuable introspection, self-evaluation, helpful for goal-setting, priority re-arranging and exploring my heart...and since we each only have have this one, short life, you might want to explore this question.