What is Success for You?
Photographer: Dana Tentis
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
Thomas A. Edison
I posted the quote above this week on my Facebook page. The first comment was, “Failure? Or Just an experience?”
Here is my response:
People in New Thought are often afraid of the words “problem” and “failure.” It comes from the unattainable idea that if we practice the Principles nothing will go wrong in our lives. Not happening. We need to destigmatize failure – it’s not a bad thing. It’s a process … or an experience!
In re-reading the Edison quote I realized he was referring to individuals, how society judges the life of people who have passed on. Having said that, I mean honestly, who are we to decide whether the life of the deceased was a success or a failure? It comes back once again to how we define success.
In the United States success is equated with wealth, possessions, social status, and the right mate. We are a materialistic country over all, and that mindset continues to degrade our society.
Please understand: There is nothing wrong with money, wealth, or any of those other things. But, if we think we must have some “thing” to make us feel successful then we’ve probably missed the point. Each of us have an individual purpose. Dan Buettner says that our purpose is defined by four criteria:
What your values are
What you like to do
What you’re good at
What you have to give
If you make a list under each of those categories you’ll find commonalities, either words or emotional responses. That is your purpose. Of course, that’s a very simplistic exercise, but it’s a great start. But simply finding your purpose is not going to make you happy.
Or will it?
On a scale of one to ten, with ten being the highest, if you are at a four with your life merely finding your purpose is not going to magically convert your life into a ten. That doesn’t mean we can’t be happier, more successful, and enjoying more of life today. What that means is that once we have a key to who we are we can begin to make incremental changes, whatever that is for us individually.
I mean, jeez, I can have a whole change of mood just by changing the screen saver on my desktop! Ernest Holmes taught, “Change your thinking, change your life,” but that could also be “Change your hair, change your life,” “Change your boyfriend, change your life” … you get the idea.
If we want to achieve or maintain a successful, happy life we must be adaptable to change, and open to doing so. A four on the happiness scale can only become a ten if we are willing to start thinking and acting like a ten.
What does this bring up for you? How have you become happier in life? What defines failure and success for you?
Copyright © 2018 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
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