Success! By whose standards?

NormalMany people believe if they are successful, then they will also be happy. They may strive to follow society’s definition of success and achieve it, but still end up feeling empty. 

What is success? How is it defined? And who defined it for you? Most people have never really stopped to think about their own personal definition of success, and how society’s definition becomes their default position. It seems that society has a whole set of standards that we are supposed to achieve in order to be determined successful. 

The list goes something like this: graduate from high school, graduate from university, get a good job, get married, buy a house, have a family, take a trip or two, retire. Where in that list does the pursuit of happiness fit? Learning to love and be kind to yourself? Being good to others? Working at something that you love? Having dreams and fulfilling them? Vibrant health and wellbeing? Waking up each morning with excitement and joy? Walking to the beat of your own drum?

There are so many things that may constitute success that have nothing to do with education, high paying jobs or big houses. Yet how often are people judged successful if they obtain these things, regardless of their being happy or healthy?

I have been seeing a different trend the past number of years, and it excites me. More and more people are feeling there is ‘something more’ and are feeling the need to find it. To explore alternatives to societies traditional expectations, and walk the path that brings them joy. This is a step towards empowerment and freedom. Finding your own way in the world, regardless of expectations is success!

Of course, finding success in your own way is not alway easy. I should know, I left a high-stress, high-paying IT job to strike out after an entrepreneurial dream, one that would allow me to make a difference and have a direct and positive impact. And it took me many years of dreaming before I had the nerve to do so. Although it has not always been easy, it has certainly been rewarding. I have the opportunity to make a big difference to people, to impact them directly. I am also breaking ground, doing things that are certainly not mainstream, therefore not understood and often considered a little wacky. I do not have a fat savings account or a big house, but I have satisfaction and peace of mind. Does that make me any less successful that those with more worldly goods? I do not believe so. I am happy and healthy, I make a difference and enjoy my work. According to my definition of success, I am indeed successful.

It is very important for each of us to be conscious of defining what success is to us, rather than simply following society’s definition. Trust me, you will be much more satisfied with your life if you are following your path, rather than a generic one set out by default.    

If you have been feeling there is ‘something more’ and do not know where to turn to explore it, your first step is to learn to follow your heart, and listen to that little voice inside, you know, the one that has been systematically shut down ever since you were a youngster and told what to like, how to think and even how to feel. There is no one to blame for this, it is a product of our current society. 

However, there is something that can be done about it. Shift your focus to what really matters, follow your heart and your intuition. If these seems beyond your capabilities right now, just take it one step at a time, and at least be aware of what you desire. Once you are ready to step forward, our Soul Alignment classes might be just the thing. They can assist you in following your own dreams, learning to listen to that little voice inside and pursuing joy and authentic success.  

To learn more about the Soul Alignment program, you can pop over to  Soul Alignment Classes and see what is there. The next Soul Alignment I will be offered in April, 2017.

Author: Bonnie Bogner

Licensed Spiritual Health Coach, Spokesperson of the Galactic Council, and Sacred Retreat Facilitator. The founder/instructor of the Soul Alignment Coaching Program.