What is Success?


Success is a funny thing, it's a notion determined by our perceptions. If we feel successful then we are successful. Much like any other emotion or feeling we can exhibit, to believe is to be and to be is to believe. We can believe that we are in love when in fact we may not truly understand what love is. Our brains are silly like that, our brain's power to make something feel real is top-notch. Animations are a good example of this, by placing pictures on top of each other, one after another, even if it's at a slow rate, it can give the perception of motion and movement. To us it feels real, even a movie, comprised of artificial characters and  an artificial story, it feels real. Which brings me to my next point, reality is how we perceive it.

If we perceive the world around us as a happy place, we will be happy. But our perception of our world can be influenced, in fact everything we perceive is based on the opinions and thoughts of our peers. Working at a company is a great example, imagine your day-to-day at work is fantastic and you couldn't be happier at your new job. Then one day you hear co-workers gossiping or complaining about specific issues within the company that you were not even aware of as being problems. Even if those problems had no affect on you, your world will feel a tiny bit less happy. Soon you'll begin to become fixated on the negative. That's not to say you might not have noticed these problems yourself over time. But your opinion of these problems might not have been biased by the opinions you've been force fed by your peers. It's possible you could have brushed that problem off by looking at the positive, especially if you are happy with your job. They say happiness is bliss, and they couldn't be any more true. Happiness is living in ignorance of the problems around us, ignoring them, being positive despite negatives. A fun fact is that being positive actually takes less energy than being negative, much like smiling uses less muscles than frowning. When we are not happy we are tired, exhausted and drained. Our minds are using so much energy focusing on negatives that we literally tiring ourselves out.

What does all of this have to do with success? Success is a bit like happiness, when we have it most of time we're unaware of it. When we don't, we focus on our failures. Here's an interesting thought, all of us, every last one of us, is successful. How is that possible? Once we are successful can we really be a failure? Doesn't that defy the meaning of success? We have success all around us, but generally we ignore it. All of us are successful in one way or another. Perhaps you landed a new job, graduated college, saved up for a car, made a cool web application or even moved to a new place, that's success.

The more we start to see how successful we are the more successful we'll be. We should start saying to ourselves, "I am successful, and I will always be successful.", because failure does not change our past successes, now does it? When we realize how successful we really are the fear of failure becomes silly.

So start believing, start doing and be. That is success.

Photo Credit: FutUndBeidl via Flickr