I often set my intention for my yoga practice as something along the lines of "I am happy and successful," and recently, I've adjusted that to sound more like "I am happy and successful by my own standard." Here's why-
What comes to mind when you hear the word "success?" If you ask the dictionary, it'll tell you that the definition of success entails the attainment of "wealth, positions, honors, or the like" (dictionary.com). While that definition may ring true for some, believing that there's only one vision of what success looks like, and that this is it, can be so harmful to ourselves, our hopes and dreams!
We tend to judge our personal success based on what other people think it SHOULD look like. And often times it results in us being harder on ourselves than we deserve. Our parents think we should get a college degree, our bosses want us to dedicate our time to climbing up the corporate ladder. And while those things may very well mean success for you, you must do them for yourself. It's not up to anybody else to determine the path you take and, in the end, you are the one left with the rewards (or consequences) of that path. So, make sure to follow wherever it is that YOUR heart truly wants to take you!
From personal experience, I can assure you that living up to anybody's standards of success aside from your own will only leave you feeling unfulfilled, incomplete, and like you failed. After all, if you judge a fish by how well he can fly, he'll spend his whole life believing he's stupid!
So what does this mean? If you're starting to think that you are actually responsible for just how successful you feel, you're right. Our true success and happiness comes from discovering who we really are and our divine purpose here. So, let's figure out what our own definitions of success look and feel like. If you just don't know where to put all of this motivating energy swirling around inside you, ask yourself these questions-
What am I passionate about?
What comes effortless to me?
What would I do if money wasn't necessary?
What is something I do that is selfless?
What brings me happiness?
That last one is important. I think we can all agree that success and happiness go hand-in-hand. What makes you happy? If your answer is money or a higher position within your career, then you may stick to the dictionary definition of what success means. Personally, I find my happiness in building relationships, helping others, animals and traveling to experience different parts of the world (I could actually write an entire novel on all the things that make me happy, but for lengthiness sake, I'll stick with those four things). So, if I build my life to consist of traveling, doing what I can to help others, and simultaneously doing my part to advocate for animals, I'll consider myself super successful, even if I'm making just enough money to get by. Your top four could look similar, or be totally different! So, what it will take for me to get to a successful place by my own standards may be entirely different than the endeavors you'll experience to reach your own.
Are you pickin up what I'm puttin down? This is what makes our world so incredibly, beautifully diverse! If everybody's vision of success was the same, where would the creativity come from? I imagine our days would be full of dull encounters with others who are following the same mundane path we are, and nothing new to talk about. Think about it- we run into somebody we haven't seen in a while and we ask them what they've been up to. And then we get to dive into their world for a few moments- we see where their happiness and successes lie. Nine times out of ten, it's somewhere different than our own. Some people will find success in art, others aspire to open a medical practice. Our unique perspectives of what our best lives could look like gives our society LIFE.
If you take away one thing from this post, find what sets your soul on fire and follow that path fiercely! Success will follow your dedication to your journey and belief in your ability to reach your goals.
Sending all love,
Kimber is a fellow soul searcher, yoga instructor, and proud dog mama. She invites you along her own journey to wellness and hopes to inspire people to be the healthiest & happiest version of themselves every day!