Success is in the eye of the beholder

What did you want to be when you were little? A fairy? A fireman? A policeman? Even perhaps a maid? Is that would would’ve made you happy or… successful? 

Today I was asked an interesting 2-part question:

Who do you think is great at life? What makes them successful?

Now, this is a question I’ve been dealing with a lot lately so it didn’t take me by surprise, however I still hadn’t managed to formulate a proper response for myself let alone for someone else!

As I sat there eating my lunch I realised I knew what I had to say, but was a bit afraid as it’s not an opinion most people share.

So I answered the first part and I said “happy people”. This for me is what makes someone great at life. However, my response needed elaboration; let me explain.

Most people think happy people have money – wrong! That’s what you think makes people happy, but I’ve realised over time that it’s not true.

When I said “happy” I was talking about those people who no matter what type of life they lead, they wake up every morning knowing how lucky they are. They live everyday overcoming obstacles and realising their own strength and potential. For me, being great at life has nothing to with money, but everything to do with integrity and happiness.

Someone can be waitressing their whole life and absolutely love it. They wake up everyday happy with what they’re doing which deserves the utmost respect. Now, I wouldn’t be able to do that, but that’s because I am a different person, and just like people have different opinions on who is great at life, people have different opinions on who succeeds in life. Which leads to my response for the second part.

You earn heaps of money?! OMG you’re soooooo successful!!!

As we map out our path in life, we realise that becoming what we want to be may not be as easy or possible as we once thought. We hit walls, break bones, but worst of all we usually succumb to society and end up belittling jobs that are at times deemed unsuccessful.

Yet one thing our ego allows us to forget is that the world does not revolve around our opinion. After speaking with many people, everyone had different versions of success. And to say that someone is unsuccessful because they’re not living by your definition or by what society has painted as success is a tad elitist.

What constitutes success? Money? Fame? Your opinion? A big house? What? What makes one successful in life?

Not everyone can be a doctor, or a lawyer or whatever else society has deemed important and respectable. Everyone has a job to do and all jobs need to be done. Every job is important, and just because you may be raking it in, does not make you better then me or anyone else.

Don’t get me wrong, utmost respect if you have worked hard and are doing what you want and getting paid well for it! But you’re not more successful than the guy who decided he wanted to cook burgers for a living 😉

If I held everyone to my standard of success, I highly doubt I would think many are succeeding- I don’t think the majority of the world population speaks 5 languages!

So I guess what i’m trying to say with this long train of thought you’ve just read, is that if you’re happy doing what you love and are sharing that love with everyone else, you’re doing great at life and succeeding – not matter your pay, whether high or low.

 

 

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The power of Kindness

“Kindness is like snow–it beautifies everything it covers.”

What would you do if someone started insulting you? Would you insult them back? Would you think of even harsher words to hurl at them just so that they can feel twice the pain you feel or will feel later on?

I don’t have much admiration for people who try to put a fire out with more fire – they are what help burn the forest and houses down faster.

Am I saying that it’s entirely their fault? No, but when you’re in a situation where you have the power and control to cease a fire, why is it that so many of us elongate its life?

Why do so many of us feel that if we allow our pride to disappear for a bit we have lost? Since when has being kind ever been a loss?

I am a firm believer that Kindness will always lead to good things – no matter how long it takes. And that’s the thing; so many of us are incredibly impatient, that once we do show kindness it somehow makes up for all the times we haven’t been and should be more than enough. However, like most things in life we have to work at it.

I don’t proclaim to be the kindest person in the world but I know many people who struggle with the idea of being kind to someone who isn’t to them.

Recently, as all people do, I have been concerned with the fractures and divisions caused along the timeline of history. While many of these were born from complicated and deep issues, I believe that at the core of these problems was the absence of kindness.

Along with the absence of kindness is the absence of memory. The amount of times I have wronged someone, I really have no right to start hurling things at other people.

That’s not to say that when someone wrongs you, you don’t deserve an apology, but keep in mind that like you they are not perfect and deserve the same amount of kindness you do. At the end of the day it’s up to you whether that’s nothing at all.