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Time for a New Definition of Success



I attended a conference in which the theme was how technology meets spirituality. During a question-and-answer session with one of the speakers, a very accomplished young man in the tech world shared with the group. He spoke about how he had all the material possessions he could ever want, and his peers considered him outstanding in his field. Yet he noted that despite the appearances of success, there was a void within him. He wondered whether he was indeed successful.


Since that time, I've thought about that young man's question. After some reflection, I've come to think that serving a spiritual idea is the new definition of success. When we serve a spiritual vision, within that idea is abundance, unbounded energy, divine wisdom, vitality, and being a finely tuned instrument of God.


That sounds all well and good. But how do we begin to move toward living this new definition of success? What are some practical things we can start to do? I've identified four possible steps to help us achieve authentic success in life.


  1. Clarify your purpose. You can start by being still and asking, "Who am I really, and what have I come here to be?” On some level, we realize that we are not here merely to get ahead in life or to get more. If we stop there, we end up just doing busy work. However, our life's work doesn't reflect a unique passion. When we clarify who we have come here to be, we feed our real passions and desires. We get lost in what we are doing because it's not work; it's something that's fun and gives us joy. When we do, we know we are in tune with what is ours to do.

  2. Develop competence. Once we identify our life's purpose, in whatever form that shows up for us, we must continuously develop our skills and abilities. We must study and hone our craft if we want authentic success. A friend became aware that what gave her life purpose was to be of service to others and to become a Chef. She was already good at cooking and preparing meals but sought continuous improvement by studying, reading, taking classes, and learning from others. Although she dabbled in other areas of interest, she spent most of her time honing her craft. That’s what most great artists throughout history have done. They had a level of depth of study in their area that they knew was theirs to do.

  3. Commit. If we want to live out the new definition of success, it takes another level of commitment. One of my colleagues decided he would be the best instructor and practitioner of meditation he could be. So, for the past 30 years, he has never missed a day meditating. The results are evident in his life. Commitment means eliminating distractions that take away our focus from fulfilling our purpose. Sometimes, distractions show up in the form of multitasking. Genuinely successful people don't multitask; they have a defined area they focus on. They say, "This is my thing," and I will eliminate other distractions.

  4. Get mentors. Most of us can only go so far on our own. We can do our best all day, but if we're not getting feedback from others, there is no way to go to the next level. We all have a competence ceiling that we hit if we try to do it alone. We can only take ourselves so far. We all need someone from the outside to give us feedback, to let us know where we can adjust, or provide us with something to think about to bring the highest and best out of us. Sometimes, all we need to do is ask for support from others who have gotten where we want to be. Most are more than willing to coach us if we ask.


Even if we are "succeeding" at what is not ours to do, eventually, it will deaden our souls. So, we must ask those critical questions: “Who am I?” and “What am I here to do?” Then, we should continuously seek to improve our competence in our chosen area, be committed, and be willing to get help.


When we are being our authentic selves, we live in a new definition of success and create our best life here and now.


Peace and Blessings,

James

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