Success seems to be this elusive, unidentified object that is always a little bit out of reach. You keep on running and all the time they change the place of the goal. Just when you think your are on the finish line some asshole just erases it and draws a new one.
New exam, new competition, new goal, new limit to what counts as financially successful! This is so frustrating, here you are ripping your hair out, because nothing you do seems to be enough. And the simple answer is…. it isn’t and it NEVER will be. Because, if you ask others what your success should be, they will always answer how they think their success should be, or what they have been told, their success should be. So number one goal, for YOUR success, is to figure out what it is for you.
Why I 100% believe that success is very subjective I do think there are certain things that all successful people, who also feel like they are successful, emulate.I have watched a lot of interviews of successful people and most of them have this recipe for success;
- Over come obstacles and push yourself to be better
- Be passionate about something to the point it is almost an obsession
- Help others
- Have fun with it
- Constantly grow and know thy self.
The Entrepreneur has a similar list to this. It goes like this:
- Create often
- Understand self
- Have fun
- Suspend judgments
- Seek challenges
- Pursue meaning
- Make change work for you
- Develop resilience
- Constantly improve
Why are these things that make people generally happy and successful? I would see this as the affects of the Hierarchy of Needs that Maslow has coined in a paper he wrote in 1943.
The hierarchy goes in a shape of a pyramid, having the most basic needs for survival on the bottom, as a foundation and getting more into the details of human fulfillment as we go up to the point of the pyramid.
The construction is as follows(from bottom to the top):
- Physiological needs: food, water, warmth, rest etc
- Safety needs: Security and safety
- Belonging and love: intimate relationships, friends
- Esteem needs: Prestige and feeling of accomplishment
- Self actualization: achieving ones’s full potential, including creative activities
What is my point with this? We often try to skip ahead on this pyramid. Obviously biologically we must take into account our need for food and safety, but what about love? Friends? Quite often when we speak of people who are monetarily successful, we hear of their break ups, hard marriages and so on. Often we are ready to compromise our relationships for money, and that in the end is what makes us ultimately fail. I also believe that we forget how much we love effort. Not too much effort. But just enough that we can feel proud in our achievements. This is why often someone who what the lottery and has nothing to do except burn money will find themselves depressed. They aren’t actualizing themselves.
Other peoples idea of success:
I asked on my LinkedIn couple of days ago, what is success to others. A lot of people said that helping others brings them the most joy. Of course doing things that are fun and well also having monetary success came through. This all in my opinion ties in quite nicely with this idea of hierarchy of needs. We want to help others, because it gives us the feeling of belonging and love, it helps give others security. We need the money in order to take care of Physiological needs, but it also often shows directly how much effort we have put into our work. A lot of answers to my positive surprise did realize that this money as a measure of success in the end isn’t that valuable.
My idea of success
I see success as over coming hardships and figuring things out. Living a life full of experiences and being surrounded by people that I love and care about. It is definitely full of laughter and sparks of inspiration. (This is why I write the blog) But there is still a lot of answers regarding success that I am missing. I am not quite sure yet what else I want to do apart writing my blog, if we think as a job. I mean blogging could be my job, I am not sure if that is all I want to do. I do want to help people and I want to have a job that no day is alike and that I keep growing and evolving. I know however that I get closer to fining out my version of success, and in the mean while I enjoy the ride. After all my success right now, isn’t the same as in 20 years. And that is OK to. Dreams, plans and you change with time, why wouldn’t your ideal version off success change too?