The far majority of people want to be successful. It’s an indicator that we’re maximizing our potential, getting validation from others that what we have to offer is valuable, and as it comes to finances guarantees that we’ll live more comfortable lives.
But what does it mean to be successful? That varies person to person, and I say that the secret to success is defining it for yourself.
What happens though is we get caught up chasing the success that our world’s celebrate. It’s the expectations of the people around us that inform our own understanding of what it means to be successful. It’s the accolades and achievements that we see making headlines, that people in our circles talk about, which shape our own perception of success.
This is all learned. The experiences and lessons that were passed on to your core influencers have been passed down to you. As social learning creatures a lot of our beliefs are “caught and not taught”, meaning that they’re part of the environment we build our lives around rather than intentionally transferred between generations.
So, if you feel like you’ve been living a life that isn’t true to yourself, or achieve some form of material success that feels empty once you have it, then it’s a great idea to evaluate the environment around you that has influenced your understanding of success. What about your family’s history, culture, and past experiences has caused them to see the world a certain way?
Once you get a better understanding for that, you get to decide for yourself - Is that a way of thinking that you want to continue on with?
Different can be scary. It can challenge the way things have been done and people close to you may even disagree with you. But ultimately, you get to chase your own version of success, however you want to define it, and as it long as it’s contributing to your overall happiness then that’s what’s most important.