Many of us, knowingly or unknowingly, have been conditioned to assess our success based on how others perceive us or how we measure up to their expectations. But have you ever wondered why this fleeting sense of triumph doesn’t bring lasting fulfillment? Measuring success in this way isn’t natural to us as human beings. It’s an imbalanced and artificial process that doesn’t resonate with our true selves. It’s fleeting because it fails to consider meaningful aspects like nurturing better relationships with family, friends, children, and colleagues; contributing to the betterment of humanity and our community; fostering our spirituality; striving to become a better, more trustworthy, and more lovable person; touching more lives; and upholding our values and integrity. Believing that lasting happiness can be attained through monetary, or material gains is like chasing a mirage.

At any stage of our lives, we remain that little kid who yearns for enduring love, appreciation, recognition, and the warmth of a loving family and friends rather than the temporary thrill of receiving toys at set intervals like birthdays, holidays, or school achievements. Interestingly, as we approach the later chapters of our life journey, our measuring stick for success naturally shifts back to a more holistic one. However, this time, money and status take a backseat, giving precedence to the joy derived from meaningful relationships, the satisfaction of positively impacting lives, quality time spent with loved ones, recognition from family and friends, and the number of people genuinely caring about us.

So, how can we consistently achieve genuine success that encompasses all aspects of our lives without being confined to a misleading notion of success?

  • Begin with accepting your current situation without judging it as good or bad. This thought brings an incredible inner strength, positivity, and unwavering focus. When we embrace it, we free ourselves from the internal chaos that keeps us from aligning our true selves with our outward expression. It reminds me of a wise saying from my father: “You are exactly where you’re meant to be, right here, right now, for a reason, not by chance.”
  • Identify the purpose and then build a strategy to achieve your ultimate goal in life – Consider pondering your life’s most profound meaning and purpose. At first, it might not be crystal clear, but taking a moment for introspection is a wonderful start. Believe in your ability to delve deep within and unearth a purpose transcending superficial desires like money or prestige. It’s about discovering something profound and meaningful that genuinely resonates with your essence. To begin, ask yourself a compelling question: “What would I love to do tomorrow if all my and my family’s needs were effortlessly met, removing any financial worries?” Within you lies an answer, a vision that ignites passion and purpose. You might envision yourself running a non-profit for children in Africa, striving to find a cure for a disease, managing an orphanage, or perhaps penning a book on the art of living. Imagine what would genuinely bring you joy and a profound sense of fulfillment. This vision and aspiration are your true purpose—the guiding light for your long-term journey. When conscious of your purpose, crafting a strategic path becomes more attainable.
  • Create a roadmap for your ultimate goal – We all have commitments that matter deeply—our bonds with family, friends, parents, employers, employees, children, community, government, country, and society. They are the essential players in the grand story of our lives. Their joy and accomplishments are intertwined with our own, shaping our well-being, contentment, inner harmony, and the enriching relationships we foster throughout our journey. The path might not always be straightforward, but you’ll navigate it successfully by staying conscious of your destination. Those you once viewed as barriers or challenges on your journey—family, friends, colleagues, and society—will transform into your most ardent cheerleaders, trusted mentors, steadfast companions, and powerful motivators, propelling you toward triumph and fulfillment.
  • Stay truthful to your values and integrity – As you forge ahead with your strategic plan and navigate the path toward your ultimate goals, let your core values and unwavering integrity be your guiding lights. If you find yourself in a situation that challenges these fundamental beliefs, it’s a sign that you may be compromising with some or all aspects of your intended journey. Stay true to your principles and let them illuminate your way toward success.
  • Above all, stay connected to the child within you – Cherish the child within you. Remember, deep inside, a part of you finds joy in love, tranquility, relationships, and being seen, appreciated, and acknowledged. Amidst life’s hustle, these fundamental desires hold value. Reach out and connect with that inner child within others, too, whether they’re your life partner, children, parents, boss, colleague, or even a stranger. Understand that every person longs for love, peace, meaningful connections, appreciation, recognition, and simply acknowledging their being. It’s a universal bond, a pure, straightforward connection that unites us all.

As you journey towards your ultimate aspiration, envision this as the adhesive that holds everything together, even when the world constantly reminds you of its impermanence.

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