Or, how do others view success?
Well, some will say success is:
- Net worth in money
- Free of debt
- How many vacations you take in one year
- New car
- Being a famous or highly viewed person
Where this list contains many positive things, it lacks something important; heart and soul, of any kind. Now don’t misunderstand me and assume I don’t think you should strive for the things on this list. No, I’m only stating that there should be more to success than material wealth or power. After all, we have not mentioned anything that has an abstract value that would feed your soul or uplift you spiritually.
You can be the wealthiest person alive or have the greatest mind and yet have an emptiness or void if you are merely following the list above. Take, for example:
Or simply Leonardo, an Italian polymath whose areas of interest included invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography.
The man who has been variously called the father of paleontology, technology, and architecture, and is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time. Sometimes credited with the inventions of the parachute, helicopter, and tank, and whose genius epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal.
Well, many people deem De Vinci to be the very image of success. And he very well could have been. But if you look closely at De Vinci’s life, you notice the man was always striving for something bigger and better. Like there was a void, he could not fill with inventions, paintings, or anything else.
People do not know to this day whether the man himself was a Christian although he painted the Last supper, The baptism of Christ, etc. making the point that a person from the outside and the success they seem to have is not always an accurate description of the truth that lies within.
Did Leonardo de Vinci see himself as being a success? A question we will never know of him, but it is one we can ask of ourselves.
I’m using this extreme example merely to get you to see the big picture. What does being successful look like to you? I know what you’re thinking. “I would be a De Vinci any day of the week whether he had a void or not.” But why when you don’t need to?
Who Can Be Successful?
Whether you’re wealthy, middle class, or poor in terms of today’s society, you can be successful. It just all depends on your definition of success. You can have a large bank account, an expensive car, and a beautiful house, but are you happy? Is your family joyful? What is the account balance of your soul?
Success is merely a mindset each person has, and the fact is, we control our minds. I can live middle class with my kids truly happy and be successful. Drive an old beat up but paid for vehicle, have no bills, and that be my definition of success.
Every person makes or breaks his or her success by their thoughts and the actions that follow them.Tweet
By giving back to your community and keeping yourself humble to others and their needs can all be measurements of success. Still, if all in life that matters is how much money you can accumulate over the years, no matter the cost to you or others, I will deem you unsuccessful. Or if you are putting all your thoughts JUST into the list above.
What is True or Real Success?
True success involves heart, feeling, soul, and love.
So, while growing your portfolio or becoming debt-free, you also invest love, kindness, and honesty, then success has finally reached you. You have scaled the walls while keeping in mind that people matter.
When we forget about people, we have gone down the road of self-interest. A very narrow road that’s hard to turn around on. To prevent missing the road sign, remember this statement. How much is enough, and at what cost?
Let me tell you right now there is nothing on this earth, so grand that’s worth you walking all over someone for or putting them through such extreme stress to gain your success.
When we look at life as a whole and our success, we need to keep in mind these things:
- Hard work/honest work
- Burning desire/passion
- Willingness to learn and grow.
- Achieving goals but never at the cost of someone else.
- Love for his or her family.
- Love and respect for God.
In other words, view your success by loving something or someone greater than yourself.
A friend, I met this last year, offered a costly service to me without charge and when I asked why he said. “You work hard Heather, harder than some of my paying clients. When I give you homework, you do it. Also, I believe when we do good to others, it will come back to you.”
You know he is absolutely right. The man is not only successful, but he has set an example through his kindness that has impacted and touched other people’s lives.
We think goodness is gone from this world because people are corrupt in so many areas. Especially in politics and when you watch the news. But that’s not always the case. If you look closely, you will find real success. Just make sure when you’re seeking, you see it in yourself first.
It’s hard to recognize something in others; we don’t possess ourselves, real success being one of them.
On that note, the note of self-improvement, how do you view success now? How do you look at others, yourself, and your 1-10 scale of success?
If nothing else, I hope this article helps you to think and or change your approach if that needs to happen, to view your success as something all-encompassing — body, mind soul with a heart for others.
In ending, I want to state that Leonardo De Vinci was a great man, but a mysterious one. I do not claim to know his heart; only God does. I’ve used him as an example in this article to help us grasp something, an idea that what we see as successful, sometimes is not.