"Rather than letting others define what success is, define it yourself"
What does it mean to be successful?
Is it about getting a well paid job, fame? getting married?
This article is about how the confusions about what success is can bring out pain and discontentment towards oneself.
Success In Depth
If you let other people define your success, then you will never be happy.
To the mind, Success usually revolves around Ideas about what will make the self "more lovable."
These days, the ideas of success usually revolves around doing things that can make other people "admire / respect" us more. Thus the beliefs we have about what will make us more loved by others will influence the way in which we define what success is. And when we live like this, we will only be living to fulfill other people's ideals rather than ours'.
So that is why it is important to define success through your own eyes, rather than from other's perspective of you.
Importance Of Addressing Success
When we live with our eyes turned outwards it is easy to let other people define what success is, because when we look outwards and see what things other people are doing that are making other people adore and respect them, we can come to the belief that doing these things can make us more lovable in the same way.
Thus our eyes can make us believe that success is about having a well paid job or having a certain appearance or fame. But realize that when we are led by our eyes rather than our heart we can end up on a Path towards Suffering. When we let other people define what success is we can live a life of meeting people's expectations and forget to question what can really make us happy and content on the inside. So when we focus so much on creating "success" on the outside we can forget to create success / inner fulfilment on the inside.
Path Of Creator
Success In Relation To The Path Of Creator
The journey begins first with realizing the importance of defining one's own success rather than defining it through other people's beliefs.
However, there can be an ingrained habit within us that is always driving us measure the value of our success by the quality of the reactions we get from other people. I.e. in how much our parents show respect to us, by how our friends see us i.e. by the loudness of the claps that the world is giving us.
However, when we are constantly looking outwards for the applause we can forget to realize that there is also an audience inside which is ourselves. Just how much are we applauding and encouraging ourselves when we have done something great? or when we fail? If we never truly address the audience from within then we will never be truly happy.
So to attain greater happiness in our lives requires us to develop self-love for ourselves. Thus when we criticise ourselves when people do not applaude us as loud as we expect them to we are simply suffering from our own self-judgement.
Ultimately, we will all realize that it is pointless in trying to please the audience out there in the world because we can never be able to please everyone. Everyone is simply inherently different and some will like us for who we are and some will not.
However, we can always change and transform the ways in which we see ourselves. We can transform the audience from within so that we can appreciate ourselves and see success in whatever we do in life, whether we do something splendidly or when we fail miserably. In either situation, we can always choose to unconditionally love ourselves rather than to punish ourselves with self-criticism.
Thus the journey is about learning to accept The Self even when it fails. It is also a journey of self-discovery to find what goals one truly wants, i.e. what is a successful life for me? Is it to be a great father? Is it to be a great artist? Is it to help people? and so forth rather than following what other people are doing.
By simply addressing the negativities we have towards ourselves from within such as our fears of failing and fears of being rejected by others, it can help us to reconnect back with our deeper desires. Thus focus the work on transforming on the negative states of the mind and naturally you will come to know what you truly want on the outside.
Ultimately what is defined as success by the soul will always be how much happiness we develop from within. Likewise, what is defined as success by the heart will always be how much unconditional love we have for ourselves and each other.
At The Idea Level
Various Negative Ideas can create fears of judgement in the mind. This can push one to allow others to define success for them.
A Possible Negative Mental Declaration
"It is not ok to fail"
--->I reject myself and others when I am/they fail
= There will be fear when I appear to fail because it is not ok.
The journey of developing Self-Acceptance is about transforming the Negative Idea from "It is not ok to fail" -> "It is ok to fail"
See Catalyst - Failing for more details
Develop Experienced Knowledge
Do things in life which will make you care about other people's judgement of your performance. For instance this can be expressing your opinions at work, this can be showing off your creativity, this can be personal goals such as exercising or making new friends etc. No matter the result, simply applaud yourself for your efforts and observe the inner resistance to develop greater knowing of why you cannot simply accept yourself as is.
The Creator's Meditation / VipassanaLink here
Every time you find yourself criticising yourself in your meditating practice "i.e. when you are meditating incorrectly such as straying off into a wandering thought" simply forgive and love yourself for what happened and pull yourself back with a greater determination than before and persist with a Still Mind. This is how we "applaud" ourselves at the deeper level of the Mind - by facing self-criticism with Stillness.
Know and Transform The Self!
Use the 10 Day One-Self Catalyst to uncover your deepest Negative Ideas / States of Self-Rejection. In this course you will learn how to naturally let go of judgement towards yourself and others in a powerful way to create greater happiness within. To be successful in life is to feel successful on the inside.