Recently, I was privileged to write the Introduction to a friend’s book. After reading his manuscript, I realized that most of us view success as an end-product. We pat ourselves on the back when we manifest an aspiration, but we fail to acknowledge the means by which we achieved it. We see the realization of our goal as the only real success, overlooking all the accomplishments actualized in the process. Thus, we succeed in our overall achievement, but we fail ourselves by not recognizing and acknowledging the hard-earned attainments we procured in the process.
If instead we view success as a process rather than an end, we achieve much more than the goal itself. Each effective step we take toward realizing our dream is a marked success, even when encountering an obstacle. Obstacles not only teach us what doesn’t work, but they also challenge us to reach beyond our perceived limitations. We can choose to abandon our quest, but in so doing, we fail. On the other hand, if we view the obstacle as an opportunity to put into practice what we’ve learned, then alter our approach and forge ahead, we’re one step further toward manifesting our dream.
Daily affirmations may help when aspiring to reach a goal, but too often we find ourselves going round and round with one foot nailed to the ground, wallowing in nostalgia (the past) and yearning for what we so ardently desire (the future). Then we become discouraged. However, if we’re willing to uncover, examine, and transform the deeply held belief that evoked this emotion, we can learn from discouragement. This entails bringing into the conscious mind those elements lying in the subconscious that may serve to sabotage our efforts. An experiential (vs. therapeutic) approach offers the highest chance of success, because it involves braving the unknown. And the unknown is where all advancement lies. Achieving success implies knowing who we are and what we want in life. If we don’t know the breadth and depth of who we are, affirmations only skirt the surface of our consciousness and are rendered ineffectual. In truth, the instillation of learning is achieved through experience.
So what is success? One could argue that it’s manifesting our dreams. And there’s truth in that statement. Who wouldn’t claim an artist successful who has acquired a showing and sold several paintings? Perhaps the artist herself would, if her goal is to be well-known and sell thousands of paintings. But in so doing, she fails to acknowledge all the successes she achieved in the process.
To be successful, we need to focus our intention while absorbed in the work at hand (the present). We need to recognize opportunities when they present themselves and not yield to perceived obstacles. We need to take responsibility for our thoughts and actions, rather than defer to heredity, environment, or the behavior of others. We need to learn to sit in gratitude and act from love instead of reacting from fear. And we need to acknowledge as a success each effective step we take toward our goal. The world wasn’t created in a day, so what leads us to believe that our destiny will be fulfilled in such a manner? As above, so below.
Live your passion and all else will fall into place. This is success.
Until the next time, my friends… Namaste ❤