“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” ~ Maya Angelou.
What is your definition of success? Can you truly ever measure it? Does having a loving family, stable job, big house mean success? Is success the same for everyone? Coming from an infamous province in the Philippines where money meant everything, folks in our village associated success with regards to having a member of your family (usually your parents or guardians) as working abroad which we call Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW’s), having a car and a nice big house or being able to provide and help with your family generally financially and most importantly finishing college. Its a struggle to live below subsistence level and so for underdeveloped countries money could mean living just enough to live a life: having food in the table, being able to pay the rent, making ends meet – more than success.
The most common definition most of us regard success is accumulating money, fame and power. The dictionary even defines success as the attainment of wealth, position and favor. It may have a lot to do to where I grew up and my upbringing but this is how I also defined success for the most part of my life so far. Having all the latest gadgetry meant that I was in the trend and so this would always make me feel like I was part of the “worldly success” – the modern era, the “what’s in” right now, the hottest new thing in the market. Owning branded clothes, accessories and mobile phones for me was an indication of success. This was all quite a transition of thinking that occurred in such a short period of time as when this happened I was brought by my parents here in the UK later at the age of 15 – my definition of success was finishing my education; the culture I found myself immersed to shortly after living in the alien environment suddenly dramatically changed.
So how does one really define success, you may ask. Well, I can tell you that the answer to that question is not found in the dictionary. Its also definitely not defined by the world’s standards and most importantly it is not given to you by others. A few years ago I underwent a deep self-discovery cogitation; at this period of time I was redefining a new definition for the word success. The catalyst for this change to happen in me was perhaps caused by a lot of factors: growing up, discovering the world, exploring new horizons, though the main and most dramatic trigger was my first heartbreak. At this time I had entered the realm of spirituality. I started believing in myself, accepting all my flaws, weaknesses and limitations.
I started thinking about a direction and purpose in life. I pictured my life moving on to new and better things without attachment from my past. As I envisioned these new hopes and dreams in my future life my definition of success changed. I didn’t picture the car I would be driving, the house I would be having or the clothes I would be wearing. Rather, I thought about the person I wanted to become – having my whole life ahead of me that has still yet to come. At this point I realized that success is not about external things: money, power, fame – these are by products that resulted from who we have become. The true definition of success is becoming the person you can truly be happy ever with.
“When you change yourself you change the world positively around you too. The emphasis however is on becoming not obtaining. ”