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Some Perspectives on How We View Success.

(ThyBlackMan.com) What does success mean to you? How does success look? What have you been successful at doing? The truth is success means many things to many people. For one, success could be improving a bad test score; for another, it could mean just making it to graduation day. One thing we know for sure, success cannot be explained – it must be experienced.

In our society, there are many images of success and ‘successful’ people. But we can’t always trust what we see when it comes to examples of success. Is a person successful if he or she cheats on a test and receives a passing grade?

Whatever our experience, the words of Swami Sivananda ring quite true:

Put your heart, mind and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.

Most often, success is learned and valued according to how we have been exposed to it. Here are three perspectives on how we view success and how we experience it.

Success is Transient

By ‘transient’ I mean it’s here today gone today. Success does not last, at least not long enough. What we were successful doing one day does not guarantee us remaining successful the next. Often, we aren’t in possession of success long enough to enjoy it. Lotto winners, for example, are notorious for this principle. Studies of those who have won millions via the lottery show that upwards to ninety percent end up broke within months, and there is also a high degree of suicide present.

You don’t have to have won the lottery to appreciate the transient nature of success, though; think about the time you or someone you know got a promotion with its attendant raise. Chances are the headaches associated with the promotion far outweighed the gain in pay.

Success is Not Always Quantifiable

A pro player signs a record contract for millions of dollars. A start-up attracts hundreds of venture capitalists who line up to invest in millions into the business model. Someone cashes in on stocks and bonds. All of the above examples tend to make one very rich – in numbers. If were judging success by a greater principle, though, numbers become murky.

Success is a feeling and feelings cannot be quantified. Is a person who makes millions of dollars from playing professional sports ‘happy’? Are success and happiness necessarily harmonious or do they make for strange bed-fellows?

From the lottery winner example, we know that lots of money does not equal lots of happiness. There are people who are very happy without money as there are those who are very miserable with it.

Success Comes in Disguise

I have always wanted to be successful and make my dreams come true. For years I would toil in my pursuit of success and do everything I could do to attain it. Yet I never felt ‘successful’. I had the drive but the realization of it seems elusive.

And then I discovered I was more successful than I imagined. I was doing everything I had always dreamed of doing; I was hitting and realizing goals on a daily basis. Success had indeed come to me – but it had come in disguise. I was successful and hadn’t even realized it.
We have come to expect the accouterments of success – nice cars, lots of cash, a big house – but we often forget that success is an inside job. It finds its meaning in value, in a job well-done and in seeing others succeed as well as ourselves.

Success cannot be explained, it must be experienced.

Staff Writer; W. Eric Croomes

This talented brother is a holistic lifestyle exercise expert and founder and executive coach of Infinite Strategies LLC, a multi-level coaching firm that develops and executes strategies for fitness training, youth achievement and lifestyle management. Eric is an author, fitness professional, holistic life coach and motivational speaker.

In October 2015, Eric released Life’s A Gym: Seven Fitness Principles to Get the Best of Both, which shows readers how to use exercise to attract a feeling of wellness, success and freedom (Infinite Strategies Coaching LLC, 2015) – http://www.infinitestrategiescoaching.com.

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