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What is Success?

by Seth David Chernoff   //   Enlightenment

Bella has achieved successWhat is Success?

The age old question of what defines success. It’s more important than we care to acknowledge as it’s the basis for our inner weather, the benchmark through which we analyze our life, and whether we like it or not our happiness depends on it.

Success = the achievement of our desires, the accomplishment of a purpose or thing.

Instead of judging the desires themselves, we accept that success is relative. In essence, the size of the desire is irrelevant, the desires in comparison to those around us are unimportant – what matters is that it’s achieved and is of significant value – no need to compare or contrast against anothers’ achievements.

Achieving Success

In order to fulfill our desires, we require drive, willpower, passion and/or motivation, but first we need direction. We are all driven, whether for trivial means such as waking up, eating, using the amenities, or for larger desires such as holding public office, making a difference in the world, raising a family, building a global enterprise, or inventing something to positively impact the world. As Maslow defined our hierarchy of needs, clearly its relative to the motivation of the individual.

As we accept that success is relative, we don’t judge one persons desires or success against our own. For example – we accept that success isn’t based on intelligence – otherwise the smartest people would be the wealthiest, happiest, and most fulfilled (which we know is not the case). We accept that success isn’t limited to a particular age, race, gender or nationality, nor is it limited to a certain demographic or psychographic. I am sure that certain trends could be determined with sufficient empirical data, but if we stay in the theoretical for a moment, we have the ability to change our perception around success to make it definable and attainable, which makes it achievable.

The Buddha defines success?With this premise, we conclude that anyone has the ability / propensity to find/achieve success. Put more succinctly, no matter your background or situation, success is achievable as a function of the goals set forth combined with the choices made. If you define success as something so far out of reach that it’s incomprehensible, you will not achieve it. If you define success as something trivial, you will lack the fulfillment required to achieve such a desire, and even upon achievement, you will not feel successful. (Clearly the enlightened soul would find success in the moment regardless of circumstance – they would not need to achieve a desire, as the desire and achievement would be instantaneous, and in some cases irrelevant).

Definable and Attainable

For most us, success is illusive, and as such, our ability to better understand what drives us holds the key to accessing the happiness and success we inherently desire. Achieving success revolves around it being DEFINABLE and ATTAINABLE.

Definable meaning that its quantifiable – if we cannot quantify it, we cannot measure it, and we have no way of knowing if it has been achieved.

Attainable meaning that its achievable, that we think / believe know its possible.

If success is required for happiness, and success cannot be measured, then happiness will continue to be illusive. If we set desires or goals that are definable and attainable, suddenly success is within reach because with clarity of focus, drive, willpower, passion and/or motivation can do their part. With a clear destination, we no longer hesitate in the moment – our destination becomes a certainty in our mind – and with that, we are unstoppable.

Until next time friends,

All my best,

PS – I hope by now you have realized that happiness cannot be achieved if your definition of success is merely wealth.

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"We sacrifice for the wrong reasons and for the wrong people, often seeking financial abundance at the sacrifice of our spiritu- ality, our health, and our quality time with our family." - Chernoff - REALITY