Showing posts with label contentment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label contentment. Show all posts

Friday, February 1, 2013

How Do You Define Personal Success?


What a loaded question huh? I mean success has so many different facets doesn’t it. What category should we explore: financial, romantic, physical, emotional, academic, professional, spiritual? There are so many different types of success it’s hard to qualify a statement like “I’m successful.” It’s probably better to start by asking “Where does success begin?” For me, though, personal success is the most important. I mean, I’d love to be at the top of my professional field, making millions of dollars, after earning my Ph.D., but that won’t all come at once, and it’s certainly a lot of hard work, but would all of that mean anything if my own personal parameters of success weren’t met? Knowing what success means to you is probably the single most important step in actually achieving that success. If you really didn’t know where you were going or why you were pushing so hard for something, even if you achieved that goal, it probably would hold little value, at the very least when you were done, it might feel like a hollow victory.

My guess is even if your dreams and aspirations are vastly different from everyone else’s, if you hold a truly vested interest in what you are doing, you’ll find a whole lot more satisfaction in the endeavor. For a long time, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life, I bounced, I made odd choices, and I traveled around the world searching for something that would give me fulfillment. What I eventually realized is this. There’s nothing in this world that will fulfill my deepest desires and wants. Fulfillment and contentment come from within. Sorry to get all Zen on you, but if Buddha was here, he might agree with me. Throughout all my travels, my imagination and want for telling stories never diminished, never went away. I always had a story in my head, I always nurtured the desire to write. It wasn’t until I put aside other distractions that I realized writing is not only what I want to do, it’s what I need to do. Interestingly enough, it took me several more years after that realization to seriously commit to writing regardless of publication success. That’s where my personal success began to flourish. When I write, I feel successful, and that makes all the difference to me. In fact, I just received yet another rejection letter for a submission I sent in for consideration. But you know what, I'm good with that, because getting that letter is just confirmation that I'm trying.  

Like I said, personal success is the most important type of success to me. I think if you find that, the other types of success will follow, at least in some small part. Of course, there is no guarantee of reaching financial success because you’ve found your true professional calling. There’s a lot of starving artists and actors out there who are totally happy pursuing their dreams. But on the other side, I’m sure there are a few investment bankers swimming in cash that are just a bit unhappy that they sold their souls for monetary gain. As I’ve said before, finding balance in your life makes things worthwhile; knowing your own definition of success, makes it that much easier. Good luck.





Thanks for reading. Questions and Comments are welcome. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What Do You Need?


“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed” – Mahatma Gandhi



Depending on how you look at it “What do you need?” is either a rather innocuous question or a very profound inquiry about life.  Answering that question when it comes to basic survival is easy: food, water, and shelter.  But since when has answering life’s questions every truly been easy?  If you think about it for a few minutes, what do you really need?  When I say need, I mean what do you need to be happy, successful, content; those sorts of things. 
Now I know we’ve all heard it, or said it.  It’s that line where we say we need something because it is so awesome or cool, or it would make things so much better than they are right now.  I remember thinking when I was a teenager thinking “I need a car”, or “I need to get a Playstation.”  Yeah, it’s funny how our priorities seem so out of whack when we re-examine them years later.  I obviously didn’t need a car or a playstation; the truth is I really wanted them.  And that’s a big difference, between need and want.  Sometimes it’s hard to make the distinction.

You can look at it from this perspective.  If something is going to give you lasting inner peace, contentment, or understanding, I’d say you need it.  If something is going to provide stability and security, I’d say you need it.  If something provides a distraction, fill an emptiness brought about my envy or greed, you don’t need it, you want it.  I think too often people have wants that go unfulfilled for so long, those wants become what seem like needs because nothing else will satisfy their desire.  But that still is not need.  It is an unhealthy want.  And really, what you should strive to do is eliminate unhealthy elements in your life.  Purging those destructive and limiting wants will show you what you really need.

I’ll tell you, I want a high paying job; I want a big house; I want to take trips to Europe. I don’t need any of those things.  I need to see my daughter every day; I need to give her a hug and kiss and tell her I love her; I need to express myself, mostly through writing or I feel stifled and depressed; I need to be free to make my own choices.  I guess you can say I need mental freedom most of all.  When I weigh the pros and cons of it all, most of the stuff society tells us we need, is just stuff.  Sometimes we need to be reminded of what’s important so we don’t want for things we don’t need. 

Think about it.



Thanks for reading.  Comments and questions are welcome.

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