Call “Success” whatever you like.
Call it happiness, call it love, contribution, purpose, meaning, call it achievement or fulfillment.
No matter what words you use to express it, and regardless of the different methods you employ to represent, materialize, or attain it, WE ALL WANT IT!!!
At the end of the day, and certainly at the end of our life, WE ALL WANT THE SAME THING!
We want to feel, and we want to know, that we truly LIVED our life – not someone else’s; and, that we lived our life in the BEST way possible. We want to feel and know that we truly LOVED our life, that we truly loved others, and that we ourselves were truly loved. We want to feel and know that we truly MATTERED – that our life mattered, that we contributed something, and that we had some significance because of the fact that we were alive!!
Whatever you want to call that – again, be it success, happiness, love, meaning, purpose, fulfillment, or any other word or words you choose, you also choose to achieve and attain that ultimate “end” through all kinds of different representations that you associate and link to reaching that “end.”
Whether that representation is social status and recognition, whether it’s money, family, a certain life-style, certain experiences, or a set of values, beliefs, and philosophies to live by. And for most of us, maybe just to hedge our bet, we choose to strive for a big old melting-pot-mix of all those representations to get to that end.
But, regardless of what you call it, and regardless of which representation of it resonates with you – at the end of the day, and at the end of your life, I believe WE ALL WANT THAT SAME THING!
And because of that, most of us spend a lot of our time (in fact, often we spend our entire adult lives) focusing on HOW to achieve those representations of that same thing we all ultimately want, call it what you may. We focus on how to get those representations, and then we start working towards building them, creating them, finding them, and procuring them.
We focus on, and we put our energy and time into striving for them using all kinds of different strategies, means, and practices in order to achieve them. Because we believe that once we have those representations in our life, that will surely yield that ultimate and final end of “success” or “happiness” or “fulfillment” that we all want!
In other words, we spend our entire adult lives building and working towards those representations as the means by which to achieve and attain that end of what we really want.
Now, here’s where it gets interesting (and maybe a little controversial)….
A currently popular, and feel-good strategy, practice, and belief many of us buy into today is that the more we give, the more we get. When we serve others, and focus on helping others – the end result of success and happiness, as well as all the different representations of that end result and what we really want – will just naturally follow and flow to us from there.
Here’s the problem with that, though. To me, that sounds a lot like: giving to others, serving others, helping or inspiring others, as selfless and altruistic as its appeal may be, is really nothing more than the means and strategy we use to achieve and attain the end result we really want for ourselves, again whatever you may call that end result, be it “success”, “happiness”, “purpose”, “meaning”, “contribution”, or whatever.
BUT, WHAT IF, JUST WHAT IF – IT’S ACTUALLY THE OTHER WAY AROUND!
What if the means is actually our success and happiness, and more specifically – our own individual self-actualization, realizing our dreams, fulfilling our greatest potential, manifesting our Personal Legend, tapping into, cultivating, nurturing, and developing our individual talents, gifts, and yes, our passions – in order to achieve the end result of giving, sharing, serving, helping, inspiring, and thereby contributing those very gifts, talents, and passions – the very best of us – with and to others and the world!!
That’s what I believe.
I believe we are all meant to realize our dreams and become our best selves by doing what we love and what we were each meant to do SO THAT we can share that with the world, and thereby make a difference, inspire, serve, love, and help others!!
And I believe that is the real how we get what we all really want in the end- to feel and to know that we truly did live our life to the fullest and in the best possible way, that we truly did love and were loved, and that our life and we truly did matter!
So, instead of focusing on strategies like giving to others in order to then become successful and attain happiness, maybe we should start focusing on who we are, who we were meant to be, why we’re here, and what we’re meant to create and contribute and gift back to the world through that.
Maybe giving to yourself first in that way, by realizing your dreams and becoming your best self, and by taping into your passions and gifts, and fulfilling your true potential is NOT selfish or self-centered at all. Maybe attaining your individual success and happiness is actually the first step to ultimately giving, serving, contributing, living, loving, and mattering to others and to the world!
And not just because if you don’t start with giving to yourself, you’ll burnout, sacrifice yourself, and run empty on your own fuel so that you’ll actually have nothing to give – though that’s 100%% true; but also because maybe realizing your dreams and becoming your best self is actually the means by which you are able to give ALL that you were meant to give and are capable of giving to the world!!!
And maybe, just maybe, that’s why we’re all here….
As always, do more of what you love and be more of who you love!!!