Sharing an article written by Nitya Shanti
I feel the definition of success needs to be questioned and expanded. Being famous, being rich, being influential, being knowledgeable, being powerful, being accomplished, having all the nicest things – these are the traditional definitions of success.
While there is nothing inherently wrong in them, they are rather narrow, outwardly focused and based on measuring ourselves against each other in some way.
I would like to offer some other ways to look at success that can expand our understanding of it…
Being rich in time – Have the luxury to just be, slow down, enjoy each life experience and explore our interests
Doing deep work – with fewer people, over longer time, with profound effects.
Some of the most influential people in history touched relatively few lives, and those lives went on to touch the world. I think of Socrates, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Webu Sayadaw, Henry David Thoreau
Fostering Community – The work we do to cultivate a sense of shared purpose in conscious communities is one of the greatest gifts we can give and leave behind
Living Simply – Reducing our possessions and needs so that we have more space and lightness in our lives. This is also a beautiful gift for our crowded planet on which we are placing ever more demands
Having Shiny Eyes – This is Benjamin Zander’s definition of success, “To be surrounded by people with shiny eyes!” This is so simple, yet says so much
Having Fun – Prioritizing joy, playfulness, authentic connection and frequent heartfelt laughter is a great way to look at success
Deepening Our Spiritual Connection – Finding and walking our own unique path. Growing a rich inner garden of insight, connection and contentment. This means measuring success not by the quality of our belongings but by the quality of our consciousness.
Supporting Others – In learning, growing, healing and being successful on their own terms
Being Exemplary – By our words and shining example, inspiring all to be the best they can be
Being Authentic – By our honesty and openness, inviting all to be more grounded and real
Continuous Learning – Lifelong learning of what we always wants to learn in school but couldn’t. No matter how strange, obscure or unproductive it appears to others
We all have unique DNA, why shouldn’t we also have our own unique approach to success? Wouldn’t it be amazing if on meeting another for the first time we asked them not only what they did, but why? Thereby creating a culture where it is normal for each of us to have our own unique definition and understanding of success. What a diverse and vibrant world that would be!
I invite you to explore alternate ideas of success with your friends, family and children. You are welcome to share this post on your wall to trigger such a dialogue. Also share your thoughts in the comments to expand and enrich this discussion further.
I’d like to end with a powerful question:
“What if I am already successful, based on my own values, and just never really recognized it?”