Merriam-Webster defines success as “favorable or desired outcome, and the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence (fame or superiority).” I agree, but feeling success is complicated.
Take the person who earns success through a high salary. In the process of big dreams and talents, they might neglect their spouse, children, friends, and a healthy lifestyle. The battle is challenging. There is a conflict between values: Do right or impress someone else; stand up for yourself or remain silent; act courageous or settle; live authentically or hide; follow your wants and needs or put others first.
Doing the right thing is subjective—seldom black or white.
Dreaming big involves confidence, role-models, and support. Everyone has an ability, but to grow talent requires patience, hard work, and practice. Even with a big dream plus developed talent, there is no guarantee for universal success. As with beauty or art, success is in the eye of the beholder.
To live while I live, I must determine, define, and individualize my definition of success. I can pat myself on the back for baking healthy oatmeal muffins, or I can feel a failure because nobody wants to eat them; they want triple chocolate chip cookies. How I define success is complicated, personal, and challenging. The same is true for you.
Thoughts are powerful. How I look at a situation determines whether I accept, discard, or give notice to an event. Thoughts activate my feelings. I have 100% control of what I think, so success or failure is fed by what takes up residence in my brain. The same is true for you.
The equation, “Big dreams + talent = success” needs updated to “Big dreams + talent +
thoughts = success.” How I interpret a situation or someone’s words determines smiles or tears.
Control your thoughts and reap success.
I am closing with a parable shared before. It speaks to the challenge of success.
“The Tale of Two Wolves”
A grandfather is talking with his grandson, and he says there are two wolves inside each of us which are always in battle.
One is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery, and love.
The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred, and fear.
The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second, then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?”
The grandfather quietly replies, “The one you feed.”
If we feed the good wolf, success wins in the eye of all beholders. In other words, “Big dreams + talent + thoughts = success.”
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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