Debunking the Common Myths Of Success
Like many people, you probably want to be successful in your life. But how can you be exactly sure that what you have is true success, and not a mere mask of what it means to be successful.
Remember, the quest for success has intrigued mankind since the beginning of time. History is littered with examples of men and women who have gone to great extents; some even selling their souls to dark forces, to achieve what they believed was success.
In our capitalist society, success usually equates to having a house on the hill, a fat bank account, a great career, intelligence, recognition, freedom, power and influence. If you make this common definition of success your sole priority you risk driving yourself to extremes that will leave you in despair and dejection.
The fact of the matter is there is actually no easy definition of being successful because it means different things to different people in different contexts.
By making yourself aware of the common myths about being successful, you can set yourself in a direction that significantly guarantees you both internal and external satisfaction in your quest.
Myth of Money
The belief that acquiring money equals success is perhaps the greatest myth about being successful. Time and again, we read unhappy stories of moneyed people who die in the grips of despair. If money was the ultimate key to success, then such people would have never encountered personal problems in the first place. Having money allows you to get good things in life, but it cannot buy you success. Being successful has more to do with your beliefs and attitudes towards money rather than having money itself. You can have a lot of money and still remain a miserable person.
Myth of Bohemia
Being successful is often associated with freedom to enjoy the five senses. Of course, success deserves to be celebrated but, contrary to popular opinion, nothing takes care of itself like success. If left unattended, success can wane away like the proverbial candle in the wind. Being successful is not a license to engage your lusts. Rather, you have to discern values and principles that will sustain you to be truly successful. Success begets success only if it is based on a foundation of integrity and character.
Myth of More
A commonly held view is you ought to have more to be termed a success. Following this line of thought, many people slog like donkeys, hunting and gathering material possessions that they never really enjoy. They define being successful by comparing themselves to others in their society. They want to appear the slickest and most intelligent. They are never satisfied with what they have.
This version of success brings suffering though a never-ending spiral of desire and non-fulfillment. As John Gray, author of "How to Get What You Want And Want What You Have," says that success is not measured by who you are, what you own, or your accomplishments. Gray says that without first achieving personal success, "having more" will just complicate your life and create more problems. Instead, being successful is a product of how good you feel about yourself, your accomplishments and your possessions.
Myth of Individualism
Many times we hear that success is a do-it-yourself project but nothing could be further from the truth. As an individual, you obviously have to put your talents, resources, energy and time to use to become successful in your chosen path. But this does not mean that you have to separate yourself from the rest of society. You are not an island. Most successful people will tell you that they had to stand on the shoulders of other people to become successful. Put simply, you can exponentially increase your chances at being successful by studying and aligning yourself to people that do what you want to do. That's why the really successful master the art of networking because it enhances the quality of their success.
Myth of Hard Work
Being successful usually follows accomplishment of desired ends, but for many people, this comes at a great personal cost through hard work that is unbalanced. Do you work so hard that you forget taking care of your personal, physical and spiritual health? Hard work never produces success. There are many people who toil everyday yet still lead wretched lives. Working smarter not harder is the key to being successful in life. When you work smarter, you work according to a well-defined vision and goals. When you simply work hard, you can sweat yourself to death and miss out on the good things in life. Balance is the key.
Myth of Luck
Many people think success is a matter of luck. That is why people who win the lottery almost inevitably go back to being broke. Being successful is a product of a combination of passion, commitment and patience towards preconceived goals. Rarely is success just a matter of luck. If you want to be successful, you must be prepared to wait. Being successful is a process that takes time.
Myth of the Select Few
Being successful is not a privilege of a selected few. It's not about which family or country you were born in. As Gray says being successful can be learned and practiced by anyone, anywhere in the world. For most people, small changes in attitude, habits and perspectives can significantly alter the success outlook of their lives.
So if you really want to be truly successful, make sure you avoid the trap set by these common myths. Being successful comes from within your spirit, so learn to be true to yourself. It is a spiritual experience of a life-well lived.
Don't let your passion and beliefs be hijacked by what society generally deems to be success. Learn to let go of the popular sentiments of success that will fixate you into the rat race.
By recognizing the fallacies of success, and then resetting your direction in life, you make sure that you truly achieve success that makes you happy, confident and content.
Tags: Success , Life , Myths , Money
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