• Susan Pattis

What Does Success Mean to You? (Part IX)

Updated: Aug 27



Being in the spotlight is one kind of success. Another type is showing up every single day to do the things you love. Though you might not arrive at the right place at the right time, or say the right things to the right people, or offer the correct answers to complicated issues, continuing to try is a success. People often define success using conventional protocols, such as acclaim, accolades, applause, trophies, ribbons, prizes, money, and so on. Humans who like to chase traditional notions of success must overcome resistance, obstacles, self-doubt, failure, anxiety, stress, and resentment. Most people enjoy what they do but complain that they don’t have successful lives. Not complaining is a success.


Modern people are not happy because they make their happiness contingent on someone else’s perspective. They usually ask themselves the following “what if” questions:


· What if my friends and family don’t like what I do?

· What if I never become successful?

· In the future, what if I lose interest in what I do?

· What if I don’t have the skills and knowledge to be successful?

· What if I can’t find the right people to work with me?

· What if I can’t find the right people to endorse my service?


The act of stopping complaining is a success for many people. It is time to convince yourself that you are successful if you just enjoy the things that you do. If you do your best every day with consistency throughout your life, you can look back and tell yourself: “I am pretty damn successful.”


Van Gogh received hardly any acclaim for his work during his lifetime. He only sold one painting while he was alive, to a friend and for a minimal amount of money. Despite no recognition from others, he continued working on his passion throughout his life. He had a successful life, although, at the time, he never had success in other people’s eyes. Today, it is impossible to buy his paintings even if you are willing to pay hundreds of millions of dollars. Carmen Herrera painted throughout her entire life without being recognized by others. In her mid-90’s, the art industry finally named her as the "discovery of the decade". Her first painting was sold when she was 89. Carmen worked in her studio almost daily until she was the age of 101. “I have a happy attitude, formidable discipline, consistent habit, and clear purpose,” she said during an interview.


Many people tell themselves that success comes from making mistakes and taking risks. Having a successful life is not necessarily in conflict with being a good person. It is easy to feel jealous of others’ successes if you achieve no conventional successes in your own life. Becoming successful in life means fulfilling your ultimate purpose. The human form of life is scarce. We attain our form of a human being after going through many species of life. If we waste this life just eating, sleeping, mating, waiting, resenting, and defending, then we are no better than animals. We have a specific purpose: to understand our fundamental nature as part and parcel of the universe. When we follow the rules, regulations, and processes as good human beings, we can again establish our connection with our higher self, and thus we can return to the eternal source at the end of life.


To Be Continued.