Before we truly want something, we need to define it, to understand its nature and thus figure out how to reach it.
The same applies to success.

We want to make big steps. To set a huge goal, achieve it and move on to the next one. To be ahead of others. To succeed by reaching the top of a career, winning the big money, having a big family…

We forget, however, that success starts small. It is real when it happens slowly. When we can enjoy it and experience it now, without aiming at the next thing on our list of desires.

For a success to be real, we should do a few things first:

  • let go of goals and plans;
  • let go of competition;
  • go slowly;
  • don’t always crave for more or ‘the most’ of everything;
  • learn how to reward ourselves;
  • enjoy the process;
  • connect with ourselves more instead of losing our identity under the pressure of a successful life;
  • let go of perfection.

Success is already here.

I’ve noticed that most people define success as something in the obscure future. And even if they achieve it, it still doesn’t feel like succeeding and they keep seeking what will make them happier, contented, successful.

But it never comes.

It never comes, because it’s already here.

Everywhere around us. Success lies deep into every good deed of ours, every positive person and thought we let into our life, into every inner realization, peaceful moment and simple act.

As I’ve said many times, it’s all a matter of perspective. We just need to open our eyes for the truth, beauty, inspiration, love and perfection around us.

That explains why people who have less are happier than those owning more. Why a zen monk is more contented than a teenager who has everything he wants. Why a poor writer is loved more by his humble wife than a rich businessman. Why a person with one book in his library has more knowledge than the one who doesn’t know who he is. And so on.

Happiness is an inner state. And so is success. We shouldn’t seek them outside, but cherish them inside of us, share them with others and feel blessed every day.

Thrive in a new way.

Many agree that we are born to thrive, to achieve more, to have goals. To reach new heights and to want to touch the sky. To become the best in everything.

I don’t.

Well, I did think so until a year or two ago, but not anymore. Because I didn’t find any contentment in all that chasing, all these goals most of which were never reached, all the disappointments, hardships. That kind of lifestyle just isn’t for me.

I still think we should get better, let’s just make it in small steps – let’s aim to get 1% better every day. And let’s make the process purposeful – if we find one or more good reasons to make any changes, we’ll be more motivated and it will be all worth it. So if you want to achieve something, do it for yourself, or to help others, to make the world a better place. Not to prove someone wrong, not to earn money, respect or fame.

Thrive more inwardly rather than outwardly. Do it by letting go of things that blur your clear vision of the world, by showing compassion and love, by forgiving yourself, understanding your desires and ignoring your fake needs. And stop trying to succeed by having more belongings, earning more money only so that you can buy more stuff, making others envy you, or too have a more luxurious life.

Only the inner improvements in your life can satisfy you. Becoming emotionally free, making peace with yourself, to love and be loved, to be inspired and create. This is what can bring harmony, contentedness and happiness in your life.

Things are perfect.

Stop looking for the perfect life! You got it already!

You’ll never have the best day in your life, until you realize it’s today. Until you see all the beauty, opportunities and magic the present gives you.

You’ll never look perfectly, until you realize you’re perfect just the way you are now.

You will never create the best work of your life, until you see the perfection in what’s in your hands right now.

What I’m trying to say is that things are perfect just the way they are. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to improve them. It just means that tomorrow they will be different. But still perfect.

Finding the success in disguise.

As I mentioned, it’s already here. It lies in:

  • all the things you’ve achieved so far;
  • hard work;
  • your experience;
  • the things you have;
  • the people who love you;
  • those you’ve inspired or made smile;
  • the things you’ve created;
  • your good deeds;
  • your positive attitude;
  • the hardships you’ve been through;
  • your belief;
  • your strengths;
  • your failures;
  • taking chances;
  • when you give something a try;
  • when you realize important things;
  • overcoming your fears;
  • not listening to your ego and egoistic desires;
  • every time you’ve won a little inner battle with yourself;
  • every time you made a compromise;
  • being grateful;
  • going out of your comfort zone;
    and so on.

My point is that you have more than 100 small successes each day. And if you notice every one of them, appreciate it and recognize it, you will no longer feel the need to prove yourself or to desperately seek fast success and happiness.

“Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the every day things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon.”
Booker T. Washington

Image by Sherman Geronimo-Tan @Flickr