I have written many posts on success. Apparently, fortune cookies have a lot of advice to give on the topic. What does success mean? Many people think success is attaining great wealth or power. We might get the impression from television and the media that to be successful, we need to be a millionaire like Elmer J. Fudd, and own a mansion and a yacht.
Contrary to this belief, we don’t need to have a huge bank account, drive a flashy car, or own a vast estate. Oh, we still need to earn a living. We all need a roof over our heads and food on the table but success doesn’t come to us from the outside world; it comes from inside of us.
Let’s look at the dictionary’s definition of success: the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. We all can be successful in life, and we don’t have to wait for years to achieve it. We can have it every day.
Many successful people have given their definition of success. Legendary basketball coach John Wooden spoke about success in a 2001 TED Talk. He said, “Peace of mind attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you’re capable.”
Spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra writes in his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success (1994), that “Success in life could be defined as the continued expansion of happiness and the progressive realization of worthy goals.”
Probably one of my favorites is from acclaimed author Maya Angelou. She said, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” Our success only matters to ourselves. We are each on a journey to achieving our goals.
One thing that I realized on my journeying is that each day that we get closer to achieving our goal, we succeed. That forward momentum, those successful baby steps should not be overlooked. They can give us motivation to continuing to the next phase. It doesn’t matter if you want to learn to play an instrument, get a degree in Engineering, or become President of the United States.
Success, for me, is finding joy in the work that I am doing and making a difference in the world, even if it is by reaching one person at a time. That work doesn’t just pertain to writing or illustrating; it is in every facet of my life, be it parenting, relationships, or self-improvement.
When I look back at my life, I see many baby step successes. Even my failures are successes because I became a better person through those experiences. My life is a success story even on days when I feel like nothing is going right. That gives me hope. I know I will succeed in the future because I have already achieved success every day in the past.
So will you.