Loaded question. What is success? My version of success has changed. I think the standard mainstream version of he or she with the most toys wins has really had it’s day.
Let’s move on from such a constrictive view, shall we?
My old version was never about the money per se, but it was definitely about winning the approval of others.
This was conditioned into me quite strongly through the usual methods. Society, teachers, family, etc.
Conditioning seems to be either a conforming to or a reelling against some kind of belief or behaviour.
Through a hodgepodge of environmental and genetic factors, my own particular idea of success developed.
Of course I’m talking about my old and now outdated version of success.
The one that drove me for many years. Seeking approval from something or someone external to myself.
Even when I became acutely aware of the tendency of the mind to seek approval and was able to weaken it through awareness and practice, it still frequently dominated me.
Ah! Being human.
In a book I love and own called “The Inner Journey Home” by A.H. Almaas, he suggests the soul has an embedded code that unfolds when it’s ready.
The best analogy I can come up for this is that of a seed. A seed has certain codes of information that unveil the next stage of the seed’s journey until it become “fully realized” as a plant or tree.
I’m sure in your life you’ve felt a certain way about something or someone and suddenly found yourself with a change of heart.
This is your soul unveiling information as you unfold more fully into your potential. Spontaneous intelligence.
For a long time I thought I wanted or needed to be a famous musician in order to be loved and accepted.
And in order to love and accept myself.
Recently, I noticed the suffering from feeling this missing in my life seemed to be growing weaker. (I’m not a famous musician! Lol)
And even if I were (a famous musician), I’m pretty sure my mind would find problems elsewhere in my life. A critic, a fan, somebody sold more records,
somebody burned me in business, etc.
Today I suddenly realized it’s pretty much gone. At least the edges have definitely been sanded down and smoothed away. I’m not saying the fantasy never plays out in the back of my mind — but that when it does, I don’t suffer. No pain. It’s not Reality.
And I also realized I’ve quietly been building my own values and version of what success is.
So, What Is Success?
My parents wanted me to be a doctor or business executive. Really badly! I didn’t want either of those things. When I was younger I wanted to be a pro athlete. Probably hockey.
Then as a teen, I shifted to wanting to be deeply involved in music. I loved it so much!
So just what is success? Is it money and fame? Lots of sex with desirable partners? Big house and cars?
As I said above, these models seem to be slowly fading from mass consciousness. It’s definitely still there, but there also seems to be a growing disillusionment with this version of success.
My Version Of Success
Excellent Health: The body is the temple for your awareness and existence. Many people treat their phones and cars better than they treat their own bodies.
Loving And Supportive Relationships: What’s the point of having a bunch of stuff if you don’t have anyone to share it with? Or if you do, you’re so busy with making money and fame that you don’t have any time to be with your loved ones?
Prosperity: Gotcha!! My version of success definitely does NOT mean being poor. I think a healthy pocketbook is an essential ingredient to be able to be and do things on this planet. However I do think everyone should find there own definition of prosperity.
For me it means a balance. Being able to pay my bills without having to worry or juggle finances in order to do so. Being able to save and invest a portion of my income. Being able to afford the tools I require to do my work and express myself creatively. Being able to take time off without feeling anxious.
I don’t require a mansion or a yacht in order to feel prosperous. But if they float down the river of Life into my experience, I’ll accept them gratefully!
I have a personality that can be happy with the simple things. Right now I live in an apartment with my wife and we share a Toyota Corolla.
And I’m happy anyways. No matter what. Almost all of the time. Even when I’m “unhappy” I’m able to turn it around in a relatively short time.
Which leads me to another ingredient in my recipe for success.
Emotional Mastery And Spiritual Connection: A human being cannot be happy where sorrow is.
If you’re feeling emotional pain— or you’re just simply uninspired by life — then you need some kind of tools to help you clear that stuff away. So that the core of who you are — unconditioned happiness — can shine out.
Don’t believe me? I’m soft in the head? I’m pretty certain even the most hard boiled of materialists and cynics have had moments of happiness with no apparent cause.
Just a moment where the burdens drop and you feel at ease and at peace with everything.
It could be in Nature. For many it is. A sunset, a mountain or ocean. They reflect the majesty of your true inner essence and for a moment you experience it.
Creative Expression: Yes! Although I’m no longer all that interested in being a famous musician because of all the probable sacrifices involved — such as time spent with loved ones, time to reflect or do other activities I enjoy, etc. — I absolutly LOVE creating and playing music. Everyday. Except for a few “cherry picked” days off.
I’m still working on finding ways to create my music and share it with a community of people who appreciate it. If you’re reading this you’re a big part of that.
I love to perform, but I don’t like bars that much. So I’m still looking for ways to perform in the Toronto area — eventually even Southern Ontario and larger. But I’d like to do it in a way that’s not just another rat race. The musician rat race.
I can perform as often and as close to home (or far from home) as I want.
I’m not in that rat race of making an album, touring, and then doing it all again. Eventually just burning out.
My Version Of Success In A Nutshell
- healthy, loving and supportive relationships
- excellent health
- emotional balance and connection to Life and the Eternal.
- excellence in my craft
Congratulations — you made it to the end. This was a pretty long and winding road of an article!
Please leave me a comment below or share with friends 🙂