Success Redefined

How is it that most of us have more pleasant memories of childhood than as adults, what was so special then that is not special now? I know most people would rush in to say that it’s probably because we had fewer responsibilities as children compared to how we are now; that there are bills to be met, financial obligations, families to take care of, aging and ailing parents that require constant attention and so on. Much as most of this is true, could this really be the reason why we lead sad, gloomy, purposeless lives as adults or is there something else buried underneath.

From how I see it, it can all be traced to the respective environments where we were brought up; society conditioned us this way; not that I blame society for how each of us has turned out, I am a firm believer that everyone is entirely responsible for how their lives turn out. What I am actually trying to say is that society plays a key role in shaping our patterns of thinking as well as our hardwired behaviors and habits. Our goals and desires mostly tend to gravitate towards expectations and standards set by society. Incidentally, we tend to be more concerned on whether we (including our goals and desires) fit in as opposed to how we actually feel. We define success in terms of the things we have as opposed to our mental, physical, and spiritual well being which to me is the very basis of everything we aspire to be or do.

Society sets the norms; it dictates what we ought to be and what we ought not to be, it dictates what is right and what is not right, what we should do, and what we should not do, and if you don’t fit within any of these pre-determined criteria, then you automatically become ‘sidelined’ so to speak. We develop personality disorders and lose ourselves in the process of trying to keep up with society’s standards and expectations.

Most people you grew up with; friends, family, or even those with whom you have schooled together, when you meet them after so many years of not seeing nor hearing from each other, normally the first question that usually pops up is ‘what do you do’ rather than ‘how have you been’ or ‘how do you feel.’

Be radically honest, are you ever yourself, whether when alone or when in the company of others, or does your personality switch depending on where you are or who you are with. The sadness, the gloomy attitude, the lackluster approach towards life is all because we lack self-understanding, we are so used to pretending to be other people only so that we can conform to the society, that we forget who we really are, we forget what our purpose on this earth is, we lack direction and a sense of understanding on the truly important things in life. We misconstrue material possessions and other mundane things for success; this is not to say that material possessions aren’t important, but there are more important things, like our health, our state of being, and our spiritual wellness.

Living your life under the dictates and judgments of what other people think is a limited way to live; it only means that you are not living to the best of your abilities and potential. Unless the society redefines success in terms of being happy, fulfilled, content and a host of other things along those lines, I think it would be best if you redefine those terms yourself and live life according to what makes you happy and fulfilled, it is the only way your highest and best self will surface and be of service not only to yourself but to the entire world.

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