Tag Archives: success

Day 413: Success

I am now reading a book about becoming successful – and there are a few points I have been pondering about how we tend to view the concept of success – generally speaking.

One of the first ideas of success that comes through in the book is that success is about becoming recognized. I find that having such an idea of success becomes limiting, because, when you strive to be recognized in all that you do, how are you then able to remember and remain with your own purpose/direction/stability? Secondly, if our success is determined by whether others determine it as success by recognizing us, have we then ever really been the creators of our success, and walked the process for and as ourselves, or have we just spent a lot of time trying to convince others to like us? The dangerous thing about success is thus the tendency to become completely engulfed in the energy/experience/feeling of being seen/recognized/famous – and earning a lot of money. Because when we are in that zone – it is so easy to forget about ourselves – and forget about what is real.

In this book, the main character lives and breaths creating success/money for himself. He begins his day at 0530 by working out and answering e-mails, and stops his work day by 2200. His entire day is booked with meetings, events, and performances, all intended to increase his fortunes and broaden his influence. And in the world system – this person is highly respected and is given much attention for his abilities. However – I would like to question – why we tend to give this type of living so much attention? Why is it that we glorify hard work and earning money, when in-fact, much of the important things in life has nothing to do with work? And how come we do not give the same super-hero status to mothers, that give birth, and work long, long hours taking care of their babies, and raising them to become adults, and handle all the housework, and make it possible for their men to have glorious careers in the world system? That part of life is many times forgotten, or it is not given the same value.

I would argue that it is because we have become fooled into defining success through money and fame. If we make money and become famous, we are automatically successful. However, what is success really? When I look at it within myself, what comes through is that success is a more simple concept. Success on a base level is accomplishing and bringing projects/aspects in our life to their fullest potential. It is not about money or fame – it is about investing and giving ourselves – and moving beyond our limitations – raise our standards and create more. Thus – success can be lived and experienced regardless where you are in life – regardless of where you live – regardless of what job you have. Success for the mother that stays at home with her children is to stand as her best self and be an example to her children – and to passionately nurture and care for them. Success for the farmer is to invest himself fully in his crops and cattle, and make sure that they have the best life possible, and that he produce nutritious food.

Success is thus not about where we are at – it is about WHO WE ARE – and it is not a objective and static concept. Becoming successful is different depending on who you ask. And that is why we should not glorify any one single person as some form of master of life. Everyone has something to bring to the table – we are all strong in some aspect of our life. And – a society is only as strong as its most vulnerable and desolate inhabitants – which is why we need to life all of us up and give room in the spotlight. Because when we only place attention on the people we deem to be successful by evaluating whether they are famous or have money – we miss so much. There are many others in society that have something to show – that is sidestepped and diminished – because they do not live up to the standards of the world system.

All of us deserve to be recognized for who we are – and all of us deserve to be able to live and share our success in the world – and not feel forced to take on a ready-made definition of success that is fluctuating in the system.


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Day 396: Satisfaction and Success

As of late I have listened to a podcast with some highly successful Swedish entrepreneurs. It is both inspiring and fascinating to hear them speak – because just as much as they share relevant principles and understandings – they also share fear-based misconceptions of reality. Whenever I  find new information – the principle that I stand by is to take the information that makes sense to me – regardless of the source. I care about the content – not the persona. Hence there is a bit of sifting required.

I realized and was also reminded of a couple of points by listening to the interviews. One point I was reminded of is that there is no objective definition of success. For some people – success is to have a lot of money. For other people – success is to be able to live on the vegetables you have grown yourself. Success is not meant to be one thing – because we are all different. However – one important aspect that we tend to forget implementing into our definitions of SUCCESS is that of GIVING to others. Success is mainly seen through our own individual experiences – however – what kind of success is it when it only impacts ourselves? Real success is when that forward motion can be shared and help empower others as well. And that can be done regardless of our base definition of success. If our definition of success is to make money – then how about showing others how to make money – and make sure that all involved in your success gets a sufficient piece of the cake – SHARE the success with the world. And if our definition is to grow veggies – then how about SHARING the veggies, and showing others how veggies are grown and the pleasure and joy that can be found in such a simple act.

Thus – what has become clearer to me is that success in its limited individual definition is empty. And perhaps that is why many of those that have reached a significant monetary success never feel satisfied – they always strive for more. It is as if there is a deep hole that cannot be filled – and so to avoid seeing and experiencing that hole – they have to constantly move forwards – constant and continuous motion. The hole can then be filled – albeit momentarily – with adrenaline and other chemically induced experiences – such as dopamine. There is a constant and never ending chase for more. The reason for this – as I understand it currently – is because there is a lack of a higher purpose. Especially in the western world we live in tightly structured highly individual bubbles. We have ourselves and maybe a few other people that are really close to us. And our lives circle around gratifying the needs of those few people – and our compassion, our love, aspirations and meaning also many times exist in that isolated zone. And it makes sense that when we do not have any value or meaning to the world – and when the world does not have any value or meaning to us – that we are going to feel empty – because hey – we are actually leaving out the ENTIRE world from our lives.

In comparison – take a look at nature, or the lesser developed countries of Africa, or the clan societies of the middle east. What we can see there is that the individual acts in awareness of his context – and he is connected to that context. A bird for example lives in a balance, harmony and equality with its surroundings. It is specialized to its surroundings and perfectly created to relate, to take, and to give, in that particular environment. It exists in a greater context. And the same is true with lesser developed societies – where the family is still very important. Here the individual exists in the context of his family – and that is what is important. Your life is only as valuable as the value you are able to share with your family – and in turn you receive the same gifts. There is a balance, a equality, a receiving and a sharing – and that gives meaning, context, and equality.

Unfortunately, that type of relationships are mostly gone in the western world. What has replaced our close bonds, or dependency on the family and each other, is the state, the big governmental agencies – the impersonal , cold, bureaucratic  and distant treatment – or the monetary institutions – the corporations. And this kind of structure makes it possible for us westerners to create isolated lives where the our individual needs/wants/desires takes the front seat. We have the ability to cut off all relationships and still be able to survive and flourish. Both young and elderly are put into institutions so that our focus and intention can be placed on supporting the system – that in turn – supports us to retain our individual lifestyle. Because without the system – our immediate relationships would take on a completely different meaning. Here retaining the family and our close intimate relationships would become a matter of life and death – and hence our purpose, focus and intention would be to support the family unit – and not that of striving for our own individual success.

Giving oneself a purpose that is based on one’s context and especially as to how one is able to give and share with one’s society/world is however possible even though we in the western world for a long time has been phasing away the notion of contextual/relation-based living. And my experience is that giving oneself a purpose/direction that is based on an assessment as to what is best/needed in relation ALL is far more satisfying than living a isolated individual lifestyle. Actually – I will say that it is only from such a way of approaching life that we are able to experience lasting satisfaction and enjoyment. And this is what modern entrepreneurs and others trying to achieve success tend to forget. We put all our focus on OUR success – without making sure that our success is defined in the context of the world – in the context of what is BEST for everyone.


 

Day 387: Creating My Own Value

I have been researching a couple of interesting points lately that has to do with self-value, self-authority and self-leadership. This investigation started because of a series of fear as well as desire reactions that came up in my work. The fears has been centered around some form of failure that would lead to the consequence of not anymore being able to work in the field I have chosen. The desire reactions has been centered on completing some form of formal education that would allow me to add another merit to the list.

I started by applying self-forgiveness on the fears – which opened up the underlying reasons. One of these reasons was the belief/idea that I am not naturally valuable/successful and thus fear is something that I must use to push/will myself forward else I will make a mistake and slip back into my normal mode of being. Another reason was that belief that I need to prove myself to others, especially my parents, and receive compliments, excel their expectations, else I will not have any value. These reasons also showed me why formal education triggers a positive response within me. Formal education is the perfect way to show to others that I am good at something and that I have a particular set of qualifications. It is set up like a scene, where I have to behave in a certain way, to receive approval and if I move outside of the boundaries of the script – I will receive disapproval. Thus the concept of formal education is limited – because it moves me into a direction that has been scripted by someone else – and it is not a development/evolution that is allowed to flow naturally according to where I need to/want to develop/learn/expand.

The similar is true about wanting to achieve success/value in the eyes of others, by for example, career. In order to achieve that success/value I have to follow a scripted path – my own idea/understanding of what I am required to do and where I am required to go in order to increase my success/value in the eyes of others. It might be that I have to acquire a certain type of job or specialization. It might be that I have to work in a particular city or with certain people. The principle is that I must find out or create some belief within me as to what I perceive others look at as success/value and then move myself to achieve that idea. It also also limiting – and I have to follow a scripted path. A path that is not scripted/directed/created by myself and that does not take into consideration what I would like to do – or what I see would support me to expand and grow as an individual – or what I see would allow me to give/share/support others the best way. Rather – the aim and drive is about achieving an idea and picture that I can show up to others to feel successful/valuable.

The issue can be found in how I have defined success/value. At the moment – these words are separate from me. I achieve them by being praised by others. I have no personal connection to these words – and thus – instead of looking at my life through with my own self-designed values – I look at them with values I have copied from others.

The solution is to redefine the words success and value – to make these words intimate and personal.

Self-forgiveness

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to define success and value separate from myself as something that I need/require to have from someone else – and think that I am not allowed to define my own success/value – that I am not allowed to tell myself when I have success/value – and make my own decisions in life as to what is success and value

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to strive to have others to define me as successful/valuable – and think that I am not good enough to live success/value – and within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to hope and desire to achieve success/value – to hope that someone will notice me and give me these experiences – instead of me deciding upon – and living these words for myself – deciding upon what success and value is to me – and then creating these words in my life

Self-commitment statements

I commit myself to redefine and specify success and value to myself – to decide what these words means to me and then live them in my life

I commit myself to create success and value in my life instead of waiting to have someone recognize me as successful and valuable

 


Day 379: Whatever it takes

When we run into problems in our life’s, usually, we will try a couple of solutions, and if nothing works, conclude that there is no solution and then give up. I have been there myself many times. And then I blame the problem, or what I perceive to be the cause of the problem. It is not my fault that I have not found a solution, because look, I have tried a couple of them.

Some weeks ago I listened to a Eqafe interview that discussed this tendency in-depth.

These interviews was about drug addiction and the difference in approach between those that are able to quit and those that are not. The deciding factor was perseverance and tenacity – the willingness to do WHATEVER it takes to get through. Those that embodied that grit were able to quit drugs. They would literally try everything, religions, rehabilitation centers, prescriptions, coaches, therapists, and so on. And eventually they would find a way.

I brought this back to my own life, and my own issues, and I could see how I actually accepted many of my problems and blamed my environment, because I was not willing to do whatever it took to find a solution. I realized that if I want to change an issue, and I find it difficult to do so, then I must push myself, and that literally means, pushing myself out of my comfort zone to try any and all things in order to move myself beyond the point of stagnation.

For example, if I experience myself to be stuck in my career, and I have tried a couple of things to change things for the better, I must be willing to expand and do things that might make me feel uncomfortable. I might have to contact a career coach, I might have to completely change my current career path, I might have to look beyond the very point of ‘career’ to see if that is really what I need, or whether there is something else, deeper down, that is bothering me. The thing is that I must be willing to do whatever it takes. Otherwise, it is obviously no surprise that things will stay the same. If I only try half-halfheartedly, do a push here and there, and then go into blame, things will remain the same, that is for sure.

Thus, change is possible. We can change most things about ourselves and this world. Whether we are able to do it or not, that is something that is mostly related to our approach, and the depth of our decision. Do we really mean it when we tell ourselves that, I am going to change this point!


Day 368: Making the Decision to Change

I looked at a documentary by Louis Theroux recently called the Dark States (find a preview here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCClVhtJY5w) about heroine addiction. Louis Theroux follows a couple of persons around for a period of time. Among these people are several heroine addicts and a recovered heroine addict. From listening to these people it was clear that heroine addiction is a very difficult addiction to break. It is tied up with not only mental pain but also severe physical withdrawal pains. Of the people that decide to go into recovery treatment only about 10 % are able to fully move away from the clutches of the addiction.

At one point Louis Theroux asks a interesting question to the recovered heroine addict. He asks, what is the difference, why was he able to do it and not the others? The recovered addict explained that the costs of his addiction exceeded the pleasure he received and that is when he decided to quit. He also explained that his decision was complete and that he was willing to do whatever required to get through – and he did not think two times about it – there was no doubt – he was certain.

The present addicts were asked the question if they did not want to quit as well. Their answers lacked clarity. Some said that they wanted to quit some day. Others said that it was too difficult to quit – there were too many side effects. One addict said that he liked the drug addiction and that he did not want to quit. What was common among them was that there was no clear decision. Rather, they looked at themselves in relation to the addiction with complacency and defeatism – they had already given up on themselves.

Comparing the recovered addicts with the present addicts I saw that the difference between them had to do with their decision. The recovered addict had a clear and final decision – he decided to change and to do EVERYTHING in his power to reach his goal. The present addicts had not made a decision at all. They were still following their addiction and could only give voice to a desire to quit, or in some instances, were only able to justify their abuse, thus having suppressed even the desire within them to move beyond their current lifestyle.

The DECISION – whatever we want to achieve – the clarity, strength, and power of our DECISION is very important to the outcome. It is also about sticking to that decision – being willing to go through whatever it takes to get to the final destination – hence – PERSEVERANCE. However in a sense – our willingness and determination to stick to our decision is also related to the quality, the depth, and the clarity of our decision. If we decide upon something WHOLLY with our complete being, body and mind – understanding why we do it, and what we are willing to do to achieve – then our decision will assist and support us to move through the difficult times.

Personally I have never had to recover from a heroine addiction, thus I cannot know what any of these people that were covered in the documentary goes through. Though I have made a couple of life altering decisions myself – one of them being to get an education and move into a particular career path. I made that decision and I have now walked this decision for almost 7 years. For me, what stands out with regards to the decision I made, was the certainty I experienced myself. I was clear on what I wanted – I understood WHY and saw the GOAL – and I knew where I wanted to go. Compared to other decisions that I have made, where I have fallen, this has been the main difference.

In seeing this documentary I have become inspired to investigate a couple of points that effect me negatively, where I have made some decisions to change, though where I have eventually fallen back on my decisions. And I am able to see, that in a way, these decisions have not been made with my FULL intent and my ENTIRE being. Thus – what I want to practice is to start making decisions that stand – decisions that I make completely and that I then stand by and walk them through into completion and physical manifestation. I see that me acquiring such a skill of decision making will assist and support me a lot in life – and empower me as an individual.


Day 366: What is success to me?

What is success to me?

It is an important question, because unless I know and I am clear on what is success for me personally, then how will I be able to achieve it? It is not possible. I will instead chase mirages, success as defined and seen by others, and not live according to my self-honesty.

The question has arisen within me due to reactions that have come up within when I am confronted with friends, acquaintances, that I feel have begun to climb the ladder of success, and that has achieved positions of high stature. It could also be that they have achieved fame or notoriety in some other way. The reaction is still the same, it is that of jealousy and fear. Jealousy that I have not achieved their position, and fear that I might have wasted/missed my opportunities to place myself in such a successful point.

Thus, the fascinating thing is that my desire is not directed towards achieving their position from a point of wanting to have their experience, as could be the case if someone has a job that I would like and find interesting. My desire more has to do with gaining the position in order to impress upon and show others that I have been able to achieve such a position/standing of success. That is what it is all about, wanting the positive attention that I perceive someone is receiving in the particular position.

In analyzing this desire/jealousy and bringing it back to myself, I can conclude that I would not have experienced jealousy/desire if I would have felt that I am receiving a sufficient amount of attention/validation/confirmation in my current position. That begs the question, why is it that I feel I need my success/live/movement in this world to be validated by others? That is in-fact a serious limitation, as I will continuously only pursue that which I suspect I will be able to get my validation and attention. And when those things have subsided, I will drop my venture, and yet again go searching for a way to achieve the attention/validation/respect I feel that I deserve. I have played this loop out a couple of times.

The solution is to define my own success and to practice validating myself – to stop myself from comparing my life – what I do – my skills – my future – to that of others – as it will only ever cause me to go astray and miss what is important to me – what is my success. And there will obviously still be the temptation to continue in old tracks. Though it is clear that when I am constantly looking out there at what everyone else is doing, then how will I ever be able to focus at what I am doing? How will I be able to focus at where I want to go, what I want to do? It is not possible – hence the importance of letting others do what they are doing, and developing within me the skill of validating and recognizing myself.

What is success to me?

To me success is to care for myself and others. It is to choose a direction in life based on where I am able to best support myself and others to be the best they can be. Success to me is also to challenge the status quo and to contribute to a change in how the system operates. Further, it is a success for me to dedicate myself to my process of self-creation – to stick to this process, to continue to develop myself, to expand, to move and to walk it until it is done.

When I live these words in my life – that is success to me.

 


Day 361: Organic Growth

There is a time for planning AND there is a time for organic movement. That is my insight for this week.

The way I tend to approach at least some parts of my life, is with exactitude in planning, preparation and execution. Everything should be considered and thought-out beforehand. And the underlying idea is that when everything is preemptively directed – that will bring the best results. However – I have found that this is not necessarily the case. On example of this is nature, specifically, trees.

If you look at how a tree grows, it is in the moment. The branches and roots will stretch out in search for optimum nutrition. That movement might be genetically planned in the design of the seed. However the actual growth of the tree happens organically. When the tree is young, there might be a water shortage. Hence the tree will focus its energy on growing its roots deeper into the ground to reach water. This shapes the tree, making it shorter and with less foliage than what would have been the case if it had instead focused all its energy on growing its branches towards the optimum position for receiving sunlight. Though, if it would have followed such a stiff and inflexible plan, the tree would have most likely died. Because it was able to improvise and grow organically according to its environment – it survived.

Then, many years later, the water shortage comes to an end. The tree now wants to focus on expanding its branches and foliage. Unfortunately for the tree, it has two big tree neighbors that blocks most of the sunlight coming directly from above. Instead of trying to outgrow its neighbors, the tree then grows its branches in such a way where it seeps up the small portions of light that moves past the foliage of its neighbors. The movement is yet again organic – in equilibrium and alignment with the trees environment.

The growth of a tree is flexible, organic, sensitive, receptive and balanced. It grows with common sense – moves on the opportunities that arise and redesigns its direction according to its environment. And as a whole, a tree looks magnificent – perfectly positioned and aligned with the rest of its neighbors.

Compare this organic growth with how us humans tend to move. Most of us decide upon a goal – a dream we want to realize for ourselves. It could be striving to achieve a certain income, enter a profession or become admitted to a education. Regardless, we tend to hold unto our goals stiffly and stubbornly – and when things does not move our way – instead of bending – we break. Because that is the problem with a person that has a stiff mind – he breaks when enough pressure is applied, while a flexible, soft and organic person is able to move around the obstacle. The tree did not stubbornly hold unto a goal of wanting to grow its foliage when there was a water shortage – it moved WITH its environment and was thus able to survive.

Hence – I have this week seen this pattern within me. One example of this is how I have had the tendency to structure/dream projects in my mind. Last summer I dreamed of creating a small carpentry studio in one of the unheated houses on our property. I arranged it and planned installing electricity and heating after a while. However, I did not have the funding or the time to install electricity and heating. This week I realized that there is actually a room on the property that already have heat and electricity installed, that I could have utilized instead all along. I had not however and the reason for this is because I got stuck in a ‘box’ like way of thinking. Where I only saw my initial goal – instead of expanding my thinking and instead of looking at the pictures – looking at the general process/movement that I want to facilitate. The room that is available, it cannot be aligned to fit my dreams of how my carpentry studio should look like – though it facilitates my interest in carpentry more effectively – because it gives me access to heat and electricity so that I am able to work even though it is dark outside. If I had moved myself organically, from moment to moment, I would have taken notice of this room and set up my shop there.

With this blog I want to emphasize the importance of MOMENT to MOMENT living. I want to emphasize that it is not the image/picture that is important – it is the process/movement. If we have an interest in photography – it is not the camera that is important – it is that process/movement of engaging in our interest. Hence if we cannot afford the camera we want, then instead of getting stuck, thinking we cannot advance ourselves within our interest, it is to instead find ways to facilitate and move with what we have at our disposal – to be creative and not break. There is always a lot more that can be done than what we think. The difficult part, that is to break free from our stiff and inflexible goal-driven mind – to instead see the opportunities that are here.