But the question is what do you picture when you imagine yourself being successful? I mean, what exactly does success look like to you?
Is it the fancy sports car sitting in your driveway of your huge mansion? Is it the sipping of a glass filled with fancy champagne on your own yacht? Is it seeing your face plastered all over billboards and magazines? Is it logging into your bank app and seeing millions of dollars in your account?
You know, success is often associated with attaining a certain amount of assets or notoriety. It’s accumulating material wealth and making a name for yourself in the public eye.
But at the end of the day, no matter how big your house is or what the number is next to the dollar sign in your bank account or how fast your car drives, or how many people know your name, what does it matter, what does *any* of it all matter, if you’re not even happy?
See, society pressures us to see success as some sort of materialistic thing -- money, property, and even “likes” on social media. It’s seen as something you must “work hard” to achieve.
“You want success? Well you better get to it and work your ass off to make it happen!” is the message we’re essentially told from our early years as a child all the way into adulthood. We’re brainwashed our entire lives to believe that success is rare and hard to obtain and is measured by material things that you must work for to earn.
It’s convincing propaganda. No doubt. Heck, I even used to think I was “too lazy” to ever really be successful. I didn’t think I’d really amount to much. I spent years struggling with pushing myself to do more, get more, and be more because that’s all success is and ever could be...or so I believed.
But eventually I realized something important. I realized that the idea of success is completely subjective. Despite what you’ve been lead to believe, there really is no objective measure of success.
In fact, you can be as lazy as you want and still be wildly successful. It’s just a matter of filling your mind with the right thoughts, not filling your wallet with the right amount of dough.
I’m going to guide you through my thought process that led me to the conclusion that success, at least the way it's portrayed in society, is severely overrated and how I decided to measure my success instead.
And without further ado, let’s dive….right into it!
Let’s start by looking at the raw definition of success, which reads as follows: “The accomplishment of an aim or purpose”. That’s straight from the dictionary. Notice there’s nothing in there about dollars being made or fame being earned. All that’s necessary for success is some type of purpose. As long as you fulfill that purpose, then congratulations! You’re a success, baby!
But what is this purpose? Well, the answer isn’t in the dictionary or really any sort of text book. And quite frankly, I’d hate to tell you, but ya ain’t gonna find that answer in this blog either.
I mean, certainly, I can point you in the right direction, but that’s about it.
See, the answer to what that purpose is, is inside YOU. That’s where the subjective nature of success comes into play. You decide that purpose. You choose what success looks like to you. You define what makes you “successful.”
To put it bluntly, success is “the fuck” you give. In other words, what actually matters to you? What underlying principle determines your everyday decisions? What’s worth getting out of bed for, you lazy bastard?
Maybe that purpose is to be honest. Well, as long as you always tell the goddamn truth, you’re absolutely a success. Doesn’t matter if you’re piss poor broke, as long as you uphold your purpose.
You want to make the purpose that measures your success an “either or” type thing, like either you have it or you don’t. For example, either you tell the truth or you bullshit. Either you act kind or you act like a douche bag. Either you’re relaxed or you’re hectic. You get the gist.
See, if your purpose is something that you can consistently collect more of, like money or fame, then that just puts you in a perpetual loop of wanting more, getting more, then wanting more again, never fully reaching success because there’s always “more” to get
But if you make your purpose an “either or” type thing, then you no longer have a reason to covet anything more, cause it’s like you either have it or you don’t. You don’t accumulate honesty, you’re either honest or you’re not.
In short, to answer the question “WTF is success”. Success is what you make it. You don’t make yourself out to be a success. You make success out to be you.
In other words, you want to base your idea of success on who you are, what you think, and what you value
You gotta take it easy, man. People will tell you to chase after your dreams, to go no holds barred.
But man, you can always see your dreams in your sleep. No but seriously, don’t pine after some sort of fantasy in your head to make you happy and feel like you’ve been successful in life.
Find something simple to measure your success on. Contrary to popular belief, earning success doesn’t have to be anything hard or back-breaking. It doesn’t need to be big or elaborate either.
It can be...just enough. Just enough to make you happy. Just enough to get you to be able to enjoy life.
Heck, enjoying life can be “success” itself.
If you try to achieve success by doing something way over your head, if you make it out to be this big complex thing, it doesn’t matter what you manage to do, no matter how much money you make or fame you get, you’ll just be straight up miserable.
And by the way, the most complex thing you can make success be is something you have no control over.
Dave Mustaine, the famous lead guitarist of the band Megadeth, saw himself as a failure. That’s right the dude who started one of the biggest metal bands of all time believes he failed at life.
The dude got the fame, he got the money. He has it all.
What happened is he was kicked out of a band. He made his measure of success to be better than that band -- to sell more albums, to sell more concert tickets.
That band he got kicked out of was Metallica. Now, Megadeth is no doubt wildly successful in terms of selling millions of copies of their albums and selling out concert venues...but they’re no Metallica.
Because Mustaine made his measure of success “be better than Metallica” and he wasn’t able to achieve that, he saw himself as a failure. Now, of course, making a big achievement like that is completely outside of his control. He can’t control the success of another band he isn’t a part of.
Perhaps if he saw success as something simple, like making some bad ass metal music, then he wouldn’t be so harsh on himself.
Success is basically what you *focus* on. It’s the fuck you give, as mentioned earlier.
Stop giving a fuck about how you compare to others or what amount of wealth you manage to accumulate, and start giving those fucks to greater principles.
Do things with a *meaningful* purpose in mind ,not something completely arbitrary or outside of your control for that matter. Don’t just do it to earn more dollars or seek approval. It’s a lazy yet effective way to be successful.
Don’t Let Anyone Define Success for You
Remember, success is *subjective*, meaning just because you look like a low life loser who sits on the couch all day to *others*, doesn’t mean you aren’t a success.
Don’t let anyone else set the standard for how you should be living and what you should be accomplishing. Make your own sets of rules. Play your own game.
Don’t change yourself and your values to match others’ expectations. Just be your own Dude and abide.
Just because owning a house with a white picket fence is seen as success in the eyes of others, doesn’t mean you have to make such a thing *your* definition of success. You can live in a one bedroom apartment and still be successful.
Again, it’s a matter of abiding by a purpose in life that you should let determine your success, not a certain status or monetary value.
Make your goal to obtain happiness, not riches. I mean you can have all the riches in the world and still be an absolute miserable fuck. Aim to be happy. Aim to enjoy life. Money doesn’t magically bring enjoyment to life. All money brings is the desire to want even more money.
You must find satisfaction *within* yourself and not seek it in something external or materialistic.
See, success to me is a feeling; it’s a state of being, not a number on your paycheck or any sort of asset you could own. Success is a feeling of fulfillment.
That’s a feeling you get when you are meeting a certain requirement or condition. And what is that requirement/condition? Well, that is your purpose.
Meet your purpose and you will soon meet success. All the other “things” you get from meeting your purpose become arbitrary.
In other words, it is indeed possible to become rich and famous by living out your purpose in life, but that sort of becomes a byproduct of doing things, as opposed to the entire point of doing things in the first place.
Hard Work is NOT the Way to success
People can work their ass off their whole lives, only to be left feeling completely unfulfilled, with a lingering pain of self-hate and regret in their final moments.
Lean back and enjoy the moment. Be proud of what you’re doing and who you are.
The way I see it, the more willing you are to uphold a certain purpose or principle, the less likely you are to ever do something (or avoid doing something for that matter) that you later regret on your deathbed.
See, once you find your purpose in life, then life is easy. No longer are you struggling with what to do next and how to do it. No longer are you concerned about getting more of an amount of anything.
Each decision you make becomes simple, it comes natural, like secondhand nature.
When you ask yourself something like: Am I being truthful? Am I bringing about peace? Am I being just? Then you’ll know what to do next.
You ain’t gotta work hard to make your move. You just move slow n’ steady, taking your time to do things that are important to you, doing things that further your purpose.
You can be successful in everything you do, as long as you focus on that purpose.
I’ll give you a personal example here. I used to be so concerned about the number of listeners on my podcast and how many people were reading my blog. And quite frankly, it began to take a toll on my motivation to even make content at all.
But when I focused on the goal of “to bring *value* to my audience”, when I focused on a greater purpose than getting more sheer numbers, producing content became a hell of a lot easier.
It became about what I have to offer the world, not about what the world has to offer me.
You can apply the same principle to your own life and your own goals. Focus on a greater purpose, find what YOU have to offer, and success is really nothing to stress over or work hard for.
It’s something that just comes natural. Embrace your laziness, fellow procrastin8r and find success *within* yourself, rather than in the outside world.
Take it easy,