When I was younger, I aspired to acquire the perfect job, with the perfect title and perfect salary. I used to think, "Then and only then will I be successful.”
With a few more life experiences under my belt and fully integrating my Buddhist practices into every area of my life. I came to realize that my measurement of success was not my own. It was equal parts what my family had drilled into me, what I saw other people doing and what I perceived society expected of me.
It was not until I epically failed in a job and my ego took the hardest blow it had ever felt; did I know that my definition of success (and failure for that matter) had to be defined by me. It was as if all my work prior to this failure did not matter. The only thing that did matter was I did not have what it took to be successful in that job. Or so I thought at the time.
My self-judgment at this time was heavy and quite frankly, depressing.
Thinking about every decision and action that lead me to that moment, I started to begin to see that I had had success in varying sizes throughout my life. Instead of celebrating them at the time, I kept striving for the next thing. Never truly stopping and appreciating my small and large wins.
Living in the moment through my daily spiritual practices, became more than just grounding myself in each day or staying present. It became about grounding myself in the goodness I experienced daily and not glossing over any success, small or large.
You often hear people say that you must define what success looks like for you. I couldn’t agree more.
After that experience, I sat down and wrote what success looks like for me. I found out that my success was rooted more in my self-development of integrity, kindness, compassion and connection than how much I made and what title I held. I also made a point to celebrate smaller more frequent successes. Like getting up and going to the gym. Or painting my bedroom. Not judging myself. Helping someone in need. Giving myself enough rest.
We are so busy running through life that we do not stop, to appreciate the simple success of getting up, helping someone, finishing a degree, having a lifelong partnership, raising children, being a good friend, volunteering, helping the poor, listening to a friend in need, providing process improvements in your workplace, having a strong work ethic, dabbling in the creative arts (because you want to make the world more beautiful). The examples are Endless!
Whatever it is that you are doing today. Plain and simple you are a success.
Try dear soul to not judge where you are in terms of other people's definition of success.
As a person who loves to give positive feedback, I know that we never give enough to ourselves. We hold ourselves to such high standards and expectations, that sometimes we cannot even recognize the success we have on a daily basis. Give yourself some positive feedback today. You're doing amazing!
Take some time today to define what success really means to you. Make a promise to yourself to celebrate success in all its shapes and sizes. Take in for a few moments, the entirety of your life and how just being here on this Earth is success enough.
Love + Light
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