What would we become if everyone’s purpose in life was to become wealthy at all costs? Can you imagine yourself as a personality with a generic identity? Imagine, every inch of Earth covered by glittering footsteps, the traffic disappearing as the concrete disintegrates under red carpets. Cars halted, taxi drivers on standby are watching. Above; the private Jets are circling and queuing at the traffic lights in the sky, to await the human rarities, who mingle in a circus as they take selfies.
Do you hear the laughter of these grimacing clowns? They are invading popular culture by attending egotistical events in lavished tents with self mirroring interiors; the Wonderwomen of hair straighteners, the Supermen of shaved chests, the Hulks of forever young, all Jokers in your face. Have you seen them? Clapping at each others tricks, as if their brain cells were on sale and cheering at each others outfits still with their price tags, as if they could buy style.
The high couture hat is not as much of an accessory of aesthetic as you think. It is a high tech program, exclusively designed to count surgery procedures, it adds up the jobs done until the number qualifies these heros of modern beauty. After graduation, they are allowed to hold the function of celebrity for the free cable channel watchers, but the funniest clowns don’t amuse for fame, they are passionate about wealth that’s why they wear it directly on the skin, so that even undressed they remain an expensive phenomenon.
Then, these entertaining puppets demonstrate how to collect awards; it used to be a symbol of a special intellect, a unique idea or a smartly developed talent, thus resulting in an honorable achievement. But what was once a complimentary ticket for a window table in a VIP restaurant, has since lost its appeal. There are not enough windows with glamorous views for each new birth, the favors have stopped. This type of injustice happens when anyone who knows how to be superficial gets credited for it and the privileges age like a tasteless commercial trend. Time passes and the cherished metallic piece sits next to meaningless TV sets.
Is the illusion of being in a position of power over others a realistic measure of one’s inner power? The modern success story is defined by the dark side of the ego; the pursuit of money, social graces and authority prevail over integrity. For those destined or attracted towards a different kind of success, the price to pay is an over priced loss of the Self and a damaged soul in ruin. Nevertheless, the difficulty in bringing the fantasy of a constant but superficial happiness state, into your daily reality is what makes this type of abundance so glorified.
At the center of rampant narcissistic societies, money beats the tempo, through which everything is measured, valued, and quantified. Unfortunately surviving without money is a skill only a few still master, desire and can dare to attempt, especially in the western part of the world where opportunities to own a tree without owning a land or to sleep outside without owning the town, are becoming scarce.
No doubt, money is worth having, however shouldn’t we ask ourselves: Where is the limit? How much is enough? What does enough mean? Is there such a thing as having ‘too much’ of a good thing? And above all, are your possessions and bank balance the absolute measure of your worth? Surely, a successful existence doesn’t consist of wanting to reach an egotistical extreme or to show off an eternal photoshopped youth by taking up large spaces inside zero sizes magazines. There has to be a higher aim in one’s life than striving to become a ‘five minutes of fame’ wannabe on a poster, next to the decorative material acquisitions and the accolades of mindless fan clubs.
As one united force, each being is a part of another, so each person prosperity should benefits others. There is no limit on what you can take as long as your conscience knows that you give back as much as you take. Furthermore, the real measure of your power should not be tied to the value of fleeting possessions. If it is so, you wonder: what are the ways to measure success in your life that don’t involve counting money?
There is a sense of joy and fulfillment to be found inside yourself and that’s what makes life worth living. This comes from being content with life and it is independent of your social status or wealth. It involves a sense of satisfaction that goes beyond the quantifiable. The ability to look at your life and be genuinely appeased brings true happiness and well-being. This type of success can be achieved by a fisherman, who does not need to make millions to be happy. He provides just enough for his family, enjoys fishing, and is not forced to wake up every morning to do it.
2. Making a positive impact on others
We all delight in making a difference. This is especially true if it touches and transforms other’s lives, or impacts society in a productive way. This takes a kind heart, a strong spirit, and an unwavering belief in humanity to accomplish. People are not remembered for material accumulations, but for the lasting effect they leave on people. This may be through their sacrifices or charity work. The ability to make a positive contribution to the life of others is a true achievement worth recognition and one to be proud of.
3. Ability to bounce back
Successful people have mastered the art of bouncing back, they don’t give in against failure and instead, use it as fuel to drive them towards their end goal. In fact, many who are considered successful, have succeeded only after numerous attempts. To overcome fear, pain and rejection, failure is a harsh but rewarding teacher. Being a resilient person, especially when faced with failure, is an admirable quality that the great possess.
Independence is freedom from the dictates of society but many people feel shackled to a particular job, relationship or lifestyle, lacking the freedom to determine their own destiny. Without true independence, it’s a struggle to stand up for what you believe in and strive for what you want since your life goals and ambitions are reliant on those who help you stand on your own two feet. However, despite not having a great autonomy or resources, some people are able to plan their own life and live it as they see fit.
5. Self Respect
Measuring success according to the expectation of others and trying to conform to their imposed and often closed minded standards means you fail to be true to yourself. And, longing for external sources of affection and admiration based on superfluous exteriors, without any underlying kind of spiritual substances is just emptiness, not success. A sentiment that leaves you feeling like a bad penny under your accessories as the loss of these haunt you because without them, there would only be the real you. Self respect is having the courage to not let outsiders decide what you should have and who you should be. To be successful is to respect yourself instead of expecting others acceptance to fill your void.
6. Fulfilling your dreams
Your goals and ambitions can be motivated by finding meaning in a state of being rather than in accumulated financial gains. Now you are thinking of the cliche: ‘I know money doesn’t bring happiness but I rather have a bad time while rich than broke’. Well, sure you can put happiness on hold while you spend miserable days in the pursuit of the holy grail. Or you can work toward fulfilling your dream, knowing that the feeling of bliss that will follow is something that money cannot buy. Your wishes and desires are not there to be suppressed, they are visions that can be achieved in this lifetime. The belief in your capability to go after your dreams is the attitude of a self confident and successful person.
7. Time for relationships
Modern living places a heavy toll on family relationships. Few parents can afford the luxury of spending lots of time with their children. This has lead to high divorce rates and unhappy families who can swallow the bill but they don’t eat a good meal because for dessert one was busy building a career, another deserted with regret for not having enough time to enjoy the fruits of glory with their families. This shows they are yet to achieve real success. The ability to share time and precious moments with loved ones is important in order to maintain healthy and happy relationships. A person who can do this has attained a level of success that money, fame, or power can never authentically provide.
8. Be a risk taker
Being successful in life entails taking risks, being adventurous and challenging yourself beyond self-imposed limits. Each time you overcome what’s blocking your path and confront bigger challenges, your self esteem, inner strength and determination improve and you will find enjoyment in making new discoveries. All this leaves you with a feeling of satisfaction called, success.
9. Ability to adapt
Life consists of many unexpected changes and the way you choose to respond defines the consequences or positive outcomes that will follow. This places tremendous pressure on the lifestyle to which you are accustomed, especially if moving out of your comfort zone for you means entering a war zone. Being capable of adapting to every situation is a sign of a long lasting success. Nothing ever stays the same, rectifying and reshaping your trajectory without feeling like a failure will be necessary along the way. Unprepared and unable to cope under the reality behind the glitter, some become suddenly famous or wealthy, only to end up addicted or depressed when the changes that it implies strike. Making the best out of tough situations in life is rising with success from the ashes like a phoenix.
10. Stick to your convictions
Stick to your personal ethics and values, they shouldn’t be compromised for money as it’s your values that determine the value of your money. Cheaply selling yourself out for superficiality against a friendship, commitment or your wellbeing doesn’t seems to be the trait of a successful character. Not being afraid to stand for what you believe in, is a quality that displays bravery and a type of success to be proud of.
These ten points compliment the fact, that while you measure your own success in terms of personal comfort and security, the universe measures your success in terms of – how much you have learned.