Defining Success

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Some of us struggle with a never ending desire to be successful. Unless you’ve clearly defined it, success can be a vague goal that is more of a mirage than a destination.

I have personally struggled with this. When I read about Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, and others, I felt a strong desire to want to be great like them. My perception of their accomplishments and how they obtained them blinded me from the truth. Many of my childhood heroes had hard lives, obtained their successes by accident, or were later spun into a success story.

In other words, while I may perceive Scott Fitzgerald as a great author, he passed into the next life believing himself to be a failure. His greatness wasn’t appreciated until after he was gone.

Greatness; everyone is great, everyone is average. The trouble with equating success to greatness is the delusion that one can be greater than another. All are created equal. The limelight shifts between us, but ultimately we are all the same. We are both equal and unique.

While greatness can be measured by achievement; if attaining that achievement required a great sacrifice in another area of your life, recognize that compromise as what levels you off with others. Life is all about balance.

Being the absolute best at something comes at a price; a sacrifice in another area of your life. When looking at your life as a whole that sacrifice is what negates the success. Thus we are all equal.

Recognizing this equality is what will satisfy the unquenchable thirst for success. An overzealous drive can be let go of when one realizes that success is not all that it appears.

Wanting to be the best is an insecurity. The belief that one is in an inferior state and must obtain superiority to all others to be content. Once this desire has subsided one can be respectful and accepting of others and open without shame about one’s own shortcomings.

True success isn’t climbing to the top of an invented hierarchy; it’s accepting the shared equality with others and recognizing everyone’s unique greatness.

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