"There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way." ~ Christopher Morley
What is success anyway?
How do YOU define it?
Perhaps we'll hear of someone who has "hit it big", who has all the toys, who lives in the biggest house, who…
Perhaps that is you. Your neighbor. The guy driving down the street. The woman commuting an hour to work everyday. The kid volunteering at the food pantry. The retiree who just won the lottery.
Is there something deeper, though, that makes this life we are living more meaningful? Is there something else there, adding depth to our years?
I believe, very much, that this concept of a deeper success is way more than what we can see on the outside looking in.
In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children … to leave the world a better place … to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
Success and meaning in life, something really much deeper than what we see in terms of things, accomplishments, and position. Success, true success, is something that comes from within.
Comes from HOW we are living are lives. Comes from WHY we do what we do. When we connect more deeply with these how's and why's, we reach success at a much more meaningful level.
Success and Deeper Meaning in this Life:
With that, I give you eleven individuals who I believe exemplify what success is truly all about. Read below as they share their pearls of wisdom on success and meaning on this life journey.
As I evolve on this journey, so does my definition of success. Success is no longer creating a life void of misfortune or pain, as those are the very elements that create the fiber from which deep, meaningful success is spawned. Success is therefore managing with grace and dignity whatever misfortune befalls me. And the other half of what gives deep meaning to my sense of success is that feeling of peaceful joy as I celebrate daily the hundreds of things that do go right in my world. With gratitude and grace, everything else falls into place.
Success to me is being able to support my family and myself. And when I say support, that doesn't mean just financially, but emotionally as well. One can usually cloud the other.
I so often want to define or attach success to big individual accomplishments, but I'm learning more and more everyday that true success lies in a million small acts that together reveal a whole life, a whole passion, a whole heart. For me, this makes the everyday so much more meaningful, knowing that each small act of kindness, love, truth, or courage really do matter. In these acts of connecting and moving with this intent through the world, we push beyond ourselves and into creating something so much bigger, success for us all.
Success, to me at least, is leaving the world (and your own little patch of that world) a little better than you found it. If people are somehow better off — materially, intellectually, spiritually — because of your presence, that's pretty good.
Success is not a big home, a large income, and all the 'stuff' that's involved in the peacock pageant. Success comes from quietly and confidently living on purpose, moving toward your dreams, and living simply within your means. It's the feeling you get when you're living right.
Success is an organic apple in one hand, and a tool sharp enough to share the fruit with others without fear of bleeding.
Success is continuous improvement of circumstances and meaningful adventure.
Success is almost an ethereal "I've arrived" feeling – not 100% how to describe it but I know I'll know it when it comes. The deepest meaning I get from following the entrepreneur's path is the feeling of going against the grain and building something I can be proud of.
I think you're successful once you create work that matters, something that was frightening to create and powerful to behold.
Success means improving every element of my life (family, work, fitness, wealth) a little bit every day and being able to smile more each time I see the results of my efforts.
On this journey, I get deep meaning from connecting with people where they live — in their heads, in their hearts, and in the way they view the world. Every person brings me something I didn't know and would have learned without that particular connection. If I listen with who I am I often find they reveal truth and trust that shines brilliantly and that inspires me to live better, be better, and bring my best game to the world.
While everyone who shared here has words that are slightly different, there is one over-riding theme. Success and meaning in this life are very personal and so much more than any physical things we might obtain. Success is truly in living this thing called life.
To each of you: thank you for the gifts you bring to this world, for the connection you create from a place of authenticity, and for your being here to add meaning and depth with your thoughts.
For me, I find deep personal meaning in this life from living in a place that connects my heart and soul outward. When I do this, when I'm aligned with my own internal compass – I succeed. When I come from this place, when I form connections at a deeper level – I succeed. When I love…I succeed…
And you do, too. You do, when you listen to that voice within and move more fully toward your own true peak.
What is success, anyway?
How do YOU define it?
Coming next week! Many updates to the Jungle of Life website, and the release of the e-book with the same name as this site: Jungle of Life | a journey toward your true peak.
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Jungle 2.0…the journey continues…