How do we know if we are successful? .. and how do we measure success?
Unfortunately, most of the time, we measure success by external status symbols: the car, house, spouse or the guy on TV, on social media, on stage!
But, in all honesty, what do we know about these people's success and their lives?
Do we have even a hint of how they feel internally? Do we know if they are content with their achievements? or worse: Do they do they equate success solely with material possessions.
Even without the ability to see inside of so-called successful people , we copy the hell out of what they are doing and want to become as “successful” as they are.
Rarely do we ponder whether what we're emulating truly resonates with our core values.
The outcomes of this ignorance are, among so many more, broken dreams, unhappy business people and heart attacks at 50.
It's evident that our success metrics are flawed.
We love it so much to quickly measure the visible aspects of success.
It is so much easier to talk about, to admire or even to loathe the apparent success of others, that we simply stop to look deeper and prefer to stay at the “external status” layer of success!
This surely has its merits for binary situations like for example a sports competition where the winner is evidently seen as successful!
But to handle the complexity of life, success as a life measure is not good enough.
What if we just measure the wrong metrics? What if measuring success is just perpetuating our challenges in an endless loop of shallow achievements and perceived suffering?
A more adequate measure is
Happiness provides lasting well-being, not just fleeting moments of joy, like “external success” does. If continuously nurtured, Happiness can last a lifetime.
Already the American Declaration of Independence states:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ——”
Interestingly enough they did not talk about the “pursuit of success”!
Well, Because the founding fathers already knew then that only through Happiness can someone find sustainable “external success”.
That’s definitely not as fancy and tangible as a house on the beach. But when listening inside ourselves, Happiness is a measurable State of Being!
We can measure Happiness by the amount of heartfelt laughter we have during a day, the number of quality conversations we have with people, the state of our relationship with our loved ones and even more tangible: the quality of our sleep and our general state of physical and psychological health.
But what is true Success then you might ask?
Success is merely the external representation of one's own happiness. Authentic external success always derives from our happiness.
As an entrepreneur I needed almost a lifetime to switch from the striving for external success to thriving for and on happiness. And to be honest even today it is a constant tug of war. As with any personal evolution, the trick lies in our self-awareness. The self-awareness that I can be jealous of the success of others or that I am sometimes compelled to copy the external success of others.
Overcoming this vicious cycle starts with the self-awareness that we swap our authenticity for the shallow copy of somebody else's external success.
A good start on your journey towards happiness is to make a list of what happiness actually looks like for you:
in your relationships
In your job
In your social life
In regards to your health
Reflect on these insights and ask how you need to show up to embody this happiness!
When all is said and done:
External Success Does Not Guarantee Happiness
Happiness Always Paves The Path to Your Very Own Success!
So Start To Be HAPPY NOW!