How do you measure success?
This may be an answer you have pondered upon before. Am I successful? If so, why? What are my metrics? If you have asked yourself this question, you are likely to fall into three primary groups:
1. you primarily measure your success based on life events – such as being married, being promoted to a certain position, running a company, having children, having travelled the world
2. you primarily rank your success based on things – the house you own, the car you drive, the position and status you hold, the savings account, the investments, the boat…you get the picture!
3. you look at 1 and 2 in combination – you find that both are true measures of your success. Most people fall into this group.
However, I find that such measures are way too simplistic. Success measured this way has a static feeling, as if there are truly milestones that we must be constantly seeking to achieve success. What if the real measure is more of a feeling, a way of being and seeing things that permeate the everyday life? What if success is what we may commonly call joy, or happiness? Looking at it this way, we give ourselves a chance to include everything that life has to offer in the full package that we may call success. Success is then..
..the getting up in the morning to the quiet and crisp air outside, and the desire to seat still in meditation
..the smell of coffee or tea and the smile it brings, with the sense of gratitude for the abundance we have
..the companionship of our partner, friends, maybe family and pets that makes us feel safe and part of something bigger
..the sunset, the smell of flowers, the heart bitting within us, tirelessly
This way of looking at success is liberating. It gives me a chance to look at my everyday as complete packages, complete milestones. I don’t go to sleep feeling successful everyday. Not because I haven’t achieved something, but simply because I forgot to take the time to feel success within me. If I have not stopped to stay in awe of what I have, and what the world has to offer, I have then skipped a day where success was at my fingertips, but I let it slip.
I do not believe that striving to be better, to achieve things and attain success in the categories described above are in any way harmful. Quite the opposite. I am a strong believer that your body is supposed to be pulling you forward, and that your desires are essential for individual and collective progress. You must follow these life instincts that exist within each one of us – the desire for more in whatever category they show up.
But, without the very fabric of joy that weaves these things together, no matter how far you go, and how many life events you collect, you will never truly FEEL successful.
How can you practice your mind for this kind of success? Here are three simple daily practices:
1. take time in the morning to set the tone for your day: meditate, journal, and connect (with yourself, your partner, your pet, or the outdoors)
2. throughout the day, take deep breaths, notice your body, get off your thinking mind, and simply connect again with your surrounding. When you do this, smile as a reminder that life is happening, right now, not tomorrow, and not yesterday
3. always end your day stating your gratitudes – I have a journal, where I jot down five daily things I am grateful for, before I go to sleep. Time expands when we do this..and the quality of our sleep skyrockets!
Here it is, to your already successful life!