Are You Sure You Know What Success Means?
It’s such a provocative topic we like to argue over the meaning of it. We seek it. We’re scared of it. Many of us sabotage it because we don’t feel we deserve it.
You should be thankful for where you are right now or you’ll never be successful.
You can take that to the bank.
That’s also the secret!
Many of us certainly debate it in our heads. We think that success is one thing and we work hard trying to achieve that one thing only to find out we’ve completely missed the boat.
How did we achieve this one thing and still end up feeling or being unsuccessful?
Countless movie scripts are written about it but still, we don’t seem to get it.
Why won’t it sink in?
I guess it’s because the idea of success is easier to sell as a destination.
And believe me, they’re selling it.
You’ve seen the guy giving a speech in front of a Lamborghini and he says, “If I can do it, you can do it too.”
We tour their houses on MTV Cribs.
We’re green with envy over what they wear on the red carpet during awards shows.
That’s good TV.
But are they successful?
These shows, inject into our brains the suggestion that success is a person, place, or thing. We get indoctrinated into their definition of success. They decide what it looks, feels, sounds, smells and tastes like.
But that’s a lie designed to sell products and TV ads.
What this concept decidedly DOESN’T do is help to make anyone successful.
Isn’t that interesting? I’m saying that the “success” they’re selling us not only isn’t success, it’s the exact opposite.
They’re telling us to focus on all the wrong things!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about money. I believe in making money. I believe we live in abundance. Everyone can make plenty of money if-and-when they want to.
There is plenty to go around. I’ve mentioned this before, for one person to get rich doesn’t mean someone else goes without. This is a lie that helps to sell the first lie.
The concept of limited resources and happiness is pushed on us because it sells something different than ads and products, it sells votes.
So, what is success?
Success is what you do every single day. Success is consistency, humility, and gratitude. You have to get a little smarter every day.
It happens in 1% increments.
Focus on the base hits and one day you’ll look up to see an incredible number on the scoreboard.
Success is NOT one destination. It’s not one thing.
Just ask Harvey Weinstein. I think that prior to last month, EVERYONE would equate Harvey Weinstein with success. Even his victims. It took them forever to come out because they perceived he was successful and could offer it to them. Or worse, keep it from them.
Weinstein was rich and powerful.
But as it turns out he is also miserable. Isn’t this the opposite of success?
PLOT TWIST. His “success” was a fallacy. Smoke and mirrors. A true Hollywood illusion.
Weinstein is unsuccessful because he failed to be consistent about his health. I promise you his sickness is a result of his self-image. Harvey thinks he’s disgusting. Maybe a girl told him he was ugly at a vulnerable moment when he was growing up and it deeply damaged him. I’m pretty sure he thought all females owed him a favor for something. He wanted payback.
In his mind, he was settling a score.
Bottom line is that Weinstein hates himself. He always has. If he regularly attacked the source of the pain, through personal growth and introspection, he could’ve found some positive solutions. He would’ve discovered that true pleasure was never found in breaking the spirits of those actresses. No different than a heroin addiction, I suppose.
He lacked humility. You can’t be grateful and wicked at the same time.
But Weinstein confused the truth with fantasy so this character flaw turned him into an evil monster.
Now, all his money and power can’t save him. Thus, he’s clearly NOT successful, is he?
How about Kevin Spacey? Last month he was successful and now he’s banished forever. Netflix has completely dropped his hugely successful series. Ridley Scott pulled him from a movie that is still promised to be delivered in one month. They’re re-shooting his parts with a new actor. His power evaporated in a brilliant flash of light and his money will soon follow.
Kevin preyed on little boys. It was no big secret in Hollywood. It’s just sickening that it took the Weinstein controversy to prove to the oppressed that anyone can be taken down, no matter how powerful they may seem.
But I like it. I want to get some popcorn and watch this all unfold. It’s long overdue.
One minute he’s one of the most successful and talented actors we have and the next minute it’s all gone. If you’ll forgive the pun, Spacey’s success was a house of cards. Another deception to the public.
Success isn’t trickery. It’s real. But it’s not a thing or a place, rather it’s what you do every day.
Delusional broken souls happen in every field, by the way, not just Hollywood.
I have a dear friend who was married to an anesthesiologist for 17 years. She’s a high-ranking nurse working towards PH.D. in medicine who married the doctor. They have two gorgeous teenage girls and the big doctor house with the big doctor pool.
But he’s miserable and he’s a narcissist. He hasn’t done one ounce of work on himself and he got lost a long time ago.
From the outside, it looks amazing. But the reality is he’s a raging alcoholic, in debt (living paycheck-to-paycheck on $700k per year), and he’s addicted to opiates.
He’s a degenerate by all definitions. A degenerate with a nice paycheck and rich friends, but a degenerate nonetheless.
She’s held the family together for almost 2 decades, but at the expense of her own happiness. For almost 2 decades!
Then she had an epiphany. This isn’t success at all.
They’re getting a divorce. The plot twist here is that according to the societal messages divorce is a failure. But by divorcing she’s on her way to becoming successful. She’s realized that he wasn’t there for her physically or emotionally and she’s changing that.
I believe she is now moving towards consistency because she knows the truth. Success isn’t a destination. It’s not a picture in a magazine, a car, or a house.
Rather success it what happens every day of your life.
Success is a ritual. A way of living regardless of the money or the status.
Sheryl Crow said success is “not having what you want but wanting what you got.”
It’s connecting meaningfully with your significant other every day.
Taking the time to connect with your kids is real.
The little moments are what counts. The work you do to help others and yourself. That’s success.
It’s loving the daily process. The achievement is an inevitable byproduct of the consistent effort that is put in over time.
You make money by accident when you’re successful. Maybe not big money, but enough money.
Every life and I mean EVERY life has many emotional and financial peaks and valleys. That’s a given, as sure as death and taxes.
The truly successful create light and distribute it.
They lift people up, teach, and they add value.
But there are people that get their energy from other people.
They’re wretched souls. Evil. Misguided. You could even say lazy.
Recognizing these kinds of people regardless of their “successes” is paramount to your own happiness and success.
Fight the good fight.
Do good work.
Spend time improving yourself. Be intentional about it. You can be Mother Teresa, but if you don’t take care of yourself you won’t be truly successful.
Help other people.
Deliberately connect with those close to you on a regular basis.
The success will fall into place in-spite-of the speed bumps, pitfalls, and life catastrophes. Don’t worry about the setbacks so much because they keep coming. Setbacks are a part of success.
The most successful people will tell you they’ve failed more than they’ve succeeded.
I want you to win.