How do we measure the level of our success?
As an author, artist and entrepreneur it is easy to start measuring my success against the success of others in my field. Is my success measured by how many books I have sold compared to other people, how many paintings I have sold and for how much? How far I have climbed on the ladder in my network marketing company. It is easy to think it is. It is also easy to get down on yourself if you don’t meet some arbitrary standard.
But is that the true measure of success?
For the author, artist, musician what if success was measured by how you felt in the creation process and how it impacted you to become something different? Would it matter if you only sold one book, one painting or one song if that piece of art changed someone’s life? Is that success?
For the entrepreneur does it matter how many widgets you sold and how much money you made, is that the measure of success? Is success based on getting a certain title? Or is success based on the fact that what you sold was experienced as positive and helpful to those who bought the widget, no matter how much you made in the process. Success in this instance could be the fact that you transformed yourself in the process of selling those widgets.
What if success was solely measured by the fact that you had the guts to express yourself and let other people see it, or just in the fact that it changed you in some way? Success never takes into account the circumstances out of which something was created and how much courage it took to make steps forward. All of the steps should count as success, don’t you think?
Those are not the questions people ask when assessing if something was successful or not.
The meaning of success has gotten away from us, has gotten impersonal and is measured by standards that have nothing to do with success at all. We lose sight of our accomplishments because they don’t live up to some high, unattainable standard that we and society set for them.
Maybe it is the word Success that is creating the problem.
the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.“the president had some success in restoring confidence”
a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.“I must make a success of my business”
synonyms: triumph, bestseller, blockbuster, sellout;
No pressure there! As you can see by the very definition “success” comes with a pressure to be, do or become something lofty.
The successes that I accomplished this year an not exactly the ones I set out to achieve. Sometimes our lofty plans are derailed and it is for our highest and best that they were, even if we can’t see the reason right away. According to my spiritual blueprint they were the ones I was meant to achieve.
I have achieved some amazing things this year, some of them came out of the fact that my original plan got derailed early in the year. I wrote a book and published it and that wouldn’t have happened if I had stuck with my plan. I went to Bali for a month to learn an new painting technique, I am working on a children’s book and achieve a level of success in my network marketing business but what is bigger in the scheme of things is I transformed myself. I released old programs that were getting in my way of success, I learned completely new ways of looking at myself and my world, I spent quality time with myself, my kids and my grandson, made many new friends and I got a new cat! I have expressed myself and become more authentic.
Did I complete with perfection the list I created at the beginning of the year, no!
Does it matter? No!
Was I successful? Yes!
I am a success because I feel more complete, more serene, more grateful, more compassionate and more loving and accepting of myself.
I think it is time we create a new definition for success. One that is kinder, gentler and realistic.
I am curious, how do you define success?