What is Success?
I have not been using this blog lately and I have decided to kick-start it once again.
On Facebook I get posts by people who are motivational speakers. They often talk about positive attitudes and affirmations to achieve success. I have read the book “The Secret” and other things that speak of creating your life the way you want and reaching your goals. I do believe in changing our thoughts and behaviors to one that is positive and not negative. I also practice Cognitive Behavioral techniques and these are compatible with the notion of changing ones attitudes and beliefs.
But one thing I have grown more leery of is chasing after success. Well, success as it is often defined in this culture via the media and other avenues. In my view success is defined as being thin, young, good-looking, wealthy, having a prestigious job, power, expensive house, nice car…oh this list is pretty much endless. Much of what is considered success in this list is based on materialism. Or, to state it another way, much of the goals for success seem outwardly focused as if getting these material possessions or circumstances will make one happy.
Even chasing after things like a better job or more money with the belief that these things may not make you happier but they just may make life easier may not be true either. Your better job may be more stressful and the increased income may also cause problems if you do not have the ability to cope and deal with the increased income. I don’t want to sound negative and I don’t want to imply that getting a better job or money or reaching these other goals will not make you happy or cause your life to be easier. It may work that way. Your dream job may very well make your life better.
I think the important key here is mindfulness and motivation. Sometimes a change in a job or other outward changes are what is needed, sometimes the changes that need to be made are not in our circumstances but in our attitudes. The importance is to mindfully know the difference. Are we chasing things because we feel an inner void or lack, and an emptiness? Are we chasing after these things to feel good about ourselves? In my experience, that is when these things do not work.
I have been gifted with artistic abilities. I can sing, play a musical instrument, I can draw and I can write well. I used to crave recognition for these things because I felt so crappy about myself on the inside. Sometimes I would get the recognition and the applause for my singing or performing. Sometimes people could not care or were not impressed that I was a singer and performer. I wanted to get my Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling for two reasons. First reason is that I do have a genuine interest in counseling and psychology. A deeper reasons was I thought that a degree like that would make me feel better about myself. That it would impress people and it would give me acceptance. Life doesn’t work that way.
So I am learning the lesson that no amount of outward manifestation of success can bring a lasting sense of inner peace and happiness. So I am learning to define success differently. I am learning what is self-esteem and inner peace and how do I manifest that inside of myself. I am no longer going to chase after the brass ring of how this culture defines success. As one of the tenets of Buddhism says a”ll of life is impermanen’t and chasing after the things of this world have lost much of their appeal.
Buddhism teaches people that the real source of happiness is inner peace. If our mind is peaceful, we shall be happy all the time, regardless of external conditions, but if it is disturbed or troubled in any way, we shall never be happy, no matter how good our external conditions may be. External conditions can only make us happy if our mind is peaceful. We can understand this through our own experience. For instance, even if we are in the most beautiful surroundings and have everything we need, the moment we get angry any happiness we may have disappears. This is because anger has destroyed our inner peace.
I found this on the web, sorry I cannot find the author. I think what is says is true. I am going to document this journey through this bolg as I walk the road of finding true inner peace.