No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path. —Buddha
With so many posts, magazines, and books with tips and advice about success, how do we know when we are successful? I’ve written the truth about success, your version of success and even about giving success, but how do we know if we have achieved it? What does it look like, and how do we know we are on the right path?
I can’t provide you a checklist to figure out if you are successful or not. If I did, I’d be imposing what I define as success, when you might have a completely different definition. However, I can give you a few perspectives that might help you come to your own conclusion.
Success might not be what it looks like. That’s because success tends to be a journey instead of a destination. When we look at success this way, there might not be a set point that tells us if we are successful or not. When we meet our initial criteria of success, we raise the bar a little higher and always try to reach for a little more.
There is nothing wrong with always trying to improve, but we should also acknowledge how far we have come. Take a look at your life, and recognize your accomplishments, successes, challenges, and hardships. How have you gotten to where you are today? Believe it or not, someone’s version of success might be your own current situation.
Since our idea of success can change, it’s important not to use success as a set point for happiness. If we say, ‘I’ll be happy once I am successful’ you may never be happy because you will always just aim for more. It’s great to be happy when you are making progress, but cultivate your life so you are happy on a daily basis, not just when you reach success. You don’t want your life to pass you by before you realize that you always set happiness just around the corner.
Are you content with where you currently are in life? Do you feel happy with your sense of development and growth? Are you on the path that’s right for you? These are all important questions to when considering if we are moving in the correct direction.
If we aren’t moving in the right direction, that’s okay too. Use this as an opportunity to make the turn you need to in life. Life changes a lot, and perhaps there are a few changes you need to make. Feel free to check the archives to get a fresh reminder on some previous tips and suggestions. When we read advice repeatedly, it provides us with a fresh reminder and a new chance to implement the suggestions into our daily life.
If you aren’t where you thought you would be, that’s okay. If you realized you made the wrong turn, that’s okay too. Just don’t give up. Instead, have the courage to keep going, or if needed, start again. Success can be up for the taking, as long as you believe it is.1