So, what’s your definition of success?
Is it a milestone you feel compelled to reach?
Is it about scaling heights at work or, being able to afford exotic Insta-worthy vacations or, being enveloped in glory and opulence to stand out in the crowd or, winning awards and accolades for achievements that may or may not have been your goal when you started with life?
In the wisdom of our ancestors, ‘ Success is a journey not a destination.’ So, why and how has the perception of ‘Success’ today transformed into a tangible piece of evidence that verifies and validates your accomplishments instead of celebrating ‘you getting better at something every passing day?
Achievements Vs Success
Say, for example, you are really good at singing. You have no professional training, never participated in any competition, and have no certificates to validate your otherwise therapeutic voice. You sing because it makes you happy, and you keep challenging yourself with more difficult notes every now and then to see if you can pull it as professionals do.
Success is when ‘you manage to win these mini-challenges and get better at something you actually love doing while staying motivated in the direction of pursuing excellence in something that makes you genuinely happy.’
However, one fine day some influential individual from the music industry hears your voice and offers a music contract to you. This is an ‘Achievement’ because now your talent has been recognized and validated by the contract.
Now, you can prove that you can sing well and have the potential to etch your name among the best singers in the world of music.
What you can take from this example is… ‘Success’ was yours every time you made progress with or without people validating your improvements.
Achievements’ followed soon after when people started noticing you for the phenomenal progress you made and validated the same with awards, certificates, platforms to showcase your talent, money, and more.
Has this example opened your eyes even a little on success is a journey not a destination?
The Quest For Success – What You Lose For What You Gain
‘Chasing an Idea of Success that is either perpetuated by the society based on materialistic achievements or is designed solely by over-competitive goals that require constant validation, eventually robs you of the True Meaning of Success.’
Success lies in chasing your dreams fearlessly, dedicating hours every day to get better at things you are actually interested in, taking failures and pitfalls on your strides, making mistakes, crying for days, yet getting up on your foot all over again and pursue your goals.
Success is when no one stands by your side and tries to brainwash you to do things their way. When you are branded, sidelined, and thwarted yet you have the energy, determination, and motivation to go on in your path. Not because you wish to be applauded or win a medal some way down the timeline, but you feel an immense sense of peace and contentment doing what you do.
Remember, you are successful in every sense of the term because success is a journey not a destination.
Few Often Ignored Facts About Success
The world is more materialistic now than it used to be. Thus, success is also measured strictly by materialistic benchmarks that toe pre-established societal definitions and standards.
This often blurs the true meaning of success, making individuals believe that it is synonymous with tangible validations.
‘I will not be successful if I don’t live in a mansion at the hilltop by age 40′; ‘I have won that award; do I still need to strive for more’?; ‘I have a regular house, a regular car, a good-to-go salary, a happy family… Am I successful, or am I still lacking‘?
If you find yourself dwelling on similar questions like these, here are a few often ignored facts about success that will open your eyes for the better.
- Neither success (in your terms) nor failure (in your terms) is permanent. Therefore, neither can qualify to be the destination. It is only a journey that leads you to deeper insightful self-discovery.
- Temporary setbacks and minor phases of exhaustion and emotional depletion do not mean you have failed. Every pain you experience in the path to achieving your goal is a stepping stone for success.
- Success is not bound by chronology. Colonel Sanders
- Success lies in purpose and contentment. When you are successful, you can be happy and content even if you have not received any award or accolade at the end of the day. However, achievements scream validation and pride.
- Wealth and fancy lifestyle are not benchmarks to measure success. Mahatma Gandhi spent the greater part of his life in a simple white Khadi dhoti and chadar, and his name is etched in Golden words in History.
Mahatma Gandhi’s success was defined by his journey to free India in a non-violent way. Could there be a better example to show that success is a journey and not a destination?
Let’s reflect on some of the biopics created on the lives of ‘very successful people in the world.
What does the biopic showcase? Is it a 1.30-hour long award show, or is it a narration of every struggle, pain, falls, and loss that the individual had to overcome through the years to reach the point of accomplishment that made him known to the world?
Could there be any meaning to this award or moment of distinction if it was not backed by a journey of emotions, excruciations, grit, and determination? The answer is ‘No.’
Therefore, if you wish to experience true success, work on your journey than on an elusive medal that may or may not be waiting somewhere down the road. For all you know, by the time you get to the award, it might not interest you at all.
When you realize success is a journey not a destination, you will instead crave to create another success story that is neither based on superficial standards nor requires any validation from anyone.
It would be a Journey of purpose, self-discovery, and contentment that may become an example for all to follow.