What makes you feel successful?
Reflect on this question for a couple of minutes and then jot down your response.
If you’re like the majority of the population, your response may have included one of more of the following:
- Financial abundance
- Healthy and fulfilling relationships and friendships
- A peaceful state of mind
Yet there are numerous people who don’t feel successful, even if they have all of these. While these certainly are important aspects of success, the truth is that they’re not what people are truly after. There seems to be something else that they’re striving for.
The other day, I was watching a documentary on TV about the school that was built by Oprah Winfrey in South Africa. She personally hand-picks girls who come from impoverished backgrounds in nearby villages, who show tremendous potential and an unusual zest for life.
When asked what her main intention is for building the school, Oprah said that she wanted to give these girls access to good education because she believes that is the key to freedom. She believed that getting an education will open the door for more options in their life.
“And that’s what I really want for them – to have options to choose from. To live life on their terms because that’s what true success is about – it’s about having options,” she said.
That comment gave me a breakthrough. I was finally able to understand that genuine success comes from having options to create a life based on our own terms. This explains why the most severe penalty, besides death, for breaking the law is locking up a criminal in jail and taking away the privilege of free choice.
Many times, we find ourselves in our own self-perceived “jails” caused by the limitations in our circumstances. We have bills to pay, family obligations, and career pressures to tackle. We get so caught up in day-to-day living that creating a life that we can call our own becomes a luxury.
But no matter how restrictive your situation is, know that buried deep within you are seeds of potential that are waiting to sprout. The only way to nurture it is by having the courage to believe that you’re worthy and capable of having the life that you want. When you nurture this seed by giving it fertile conditions, it will grow in incredible ways.
Believe that your ideal life is possible, see it in your minds eye, before you manifest in your reality. Once you do that, your environment will gradually begin to mirror your internal vision as you begin taking action towards making it a reality.
Some of the greatest visionaries in history, however, had no problems doing this, despite being steeped in dire circumstances. No matter what challenges lay ahead of them, they were unwavering in their faith.
An excellent example of this is Martin Luther King Jr. He was a powerful leader who worked tirelessly towards the advancement of civil rights using non-violent civil obedience. His impact is indelible in world history because of his conviction to build the society he envisioned against all odds. His speech, “I have a dream”, is still considered one of the greatest in history.
It’s this kind of passion that will springboard us into taking action towards our dreams. If you’re facing challenges in finding the drive to get the ball rolling, there’s a good chance that you have hit these three roadblocks:
1. You’re unclear about what you want: The best way to deal with a lack of clarity is by getting back to our core self and asking ourselves what is most important to us. This will require us to go within and take a look at what we value the most. I highly recommend reading my free E-book “The Fast Track Guide to Turning Your Dreams into Reality”, which has exercises that will help you in this process.
2. You’re afraid of what others will say: If you’re conscious of what other people might think if you focus on your interests, you’ll face difficulties in creating a life of your own. There’s no shortage of people who will tell us what to do and what not to do. It’s up to us to use our discernment in deciding who is worth listening to.
3. You believe that self-sacrifice is a noble act: Many people are raised to believe that self-sacrifice is a noble quality, or that compromising is the way of life. This is especially prevalent amongst women who think that, as the nurturers of a family unit, they need to prioritize the needs of others. Yet it’s important to realize that if we continue to do this, we’ll eventually crash and burn. There’s nothing selfish about putting our interests first, because if we don’t, we can’t be fully present with others.
Remember that your life matters and it’s your duty to share all that you have to offer to the world. You can only do this if you allow the most authentic part of your being to come out within a fully-expressed life.
All my best on your journey,
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