True Success

“Money comes after success… I don’t really think that money makes you successful. I think that once you have success, then the money takes care of itself.”

Whitney Herzog

In our society, we have been taught to think of success as consisting entirely of material wealth. That is, a person is deemed to be successful only to the extent that they are earning large amounts of money, and such earnings are accompanied by the ownership of luxurious status symbols including expensive houses, cars, jewelry, etc. Often times, no consideration is given to the nature of the work a person is engaged in to acquire their material wealth, or the degree to which they enjoy the work they do. In this regard, I believe that the conventional definition of success is extremely limiting, and therefore, limits many of us from the experience of true success.

In my opinion, success is not only having a satisfying amount of material wealth, but having a satisfying experience in the process of accumulating that wealth. Therefore, there are really two components of success: the outcome and the process. The outcome of success is quite simply the amount of material wealth that you have amassed as a result of your employment.  The process of success is your employment or vocation. In our society, one aspect of success is given importance (outcome), while the other aspect (process) is considered irrelevant.  As a result, it is not uncommon that many of the most materially affluent people in our society are completely unhappy with their lives because the process by which they earned their affluence is so unsatisfying. After all, how much could one enjoy arriving in paradise if you completely lost your health on the way there? The point is that the process towards accumulating wealth determines the extent to which we enjoy reaching our destination (outcome) of wealth. And therefore, the process is actually more important than the outcome. As Deepak Chopra puts it, “success is a journey, not a destination.”

So, the question we must ask ourselves if we are to experience true success is: what is the most satisfying process by which I can arrive at my desired destination of material wealth? The answer to this question is simple: do what you love. Most of us, as a result of our social conditioning have been lead to believe that the only way to attain material wealth is by having a job that we don’t necessarily enjoy, or even hate. But, the truth is that the true way to acquire wealth is by doing what we love. This is because that which we truly love to do is something we are also gifted at doing. Just think about it: have you ever known someone that has an undying passion for something that they are utterly incompetent at? Of course not. This is because part of the reason why we truly love something is the feeling of worth we have when we are truly excellent at something.

Thus, having established that whatever it is that you truly love to do must, by definition, be something that you are excellent at, it should be obvious then that excellent skills leads to the creation of an excellent product. And, an excellent product must, by necessity, be a product that is extremely valuable in the marketplace; and therefore, must lead to excellent returns.  Thus, the answer to the question of process is that it is by doing what you love, which, again, by definition you must be excellent at, and therefore creating excellent products which yield excellent returns, that you have a satisfying journey on the road to material wealth. For, as we have demonstrated, doing what we love is a guaranteed path to material wealth.

Now, many of us, having been indoctrinated to believe that we must do what is necessary to earn money, rather than doing what we love, may have a hard time rediscovering what it is that we love to do. Here is a simple indicator that you ca use to rediscover what it is you truly love to do… if you had all the free time in the world, and money was of no concern to you, is there any one thing that you would find yourself doing all day, every single day, just because you enjoyed it so much? Whatever that thing may be, it is your true purpose in life, and your personal “pass code” for experience true success.

Before you answer this question, keep in mind that there are likely to be a myriad of activities that you really enjoy, and that you could easily devote many hours to, on a daily basis, for the sake of your personal enjoyment. But, this is not necessarily your true purpose in life. Your true purpose in life is that thing that you would do from dawn to dusk, every single day, provided you had the time to do so. The former, the activity or activities that you really like doing, should be thought of as a hobby. The latter, the activity which you truly love and could spend countless hours doing, is your purpose in life.

And so, it is in uncovering our true purpose in life, which is to do whatever it is we truly love to do for the benefit of others, that we allow ourselves to have a satisfying journey towards the destination at which we all hope to arrive – material wealth and success.

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  1. David,
    I enjoy reading your writings. When I came across this one however, I was disappointed. Success and “satisfying amount of material wealth” are in no way related. At least not in the context you present it here which is that in doing what we love we create “excellent products which yield excellent returns”. Many successful lives are spent working toward a goal which may or may not be achieved. Mahatma Gandhi was a success and a hero to many. He had no product, he was not interested in “returns”, and he had few possessions and was monetarily poor by most standards. Often times our purpose in life leads us away from the traditional ideas of a marketplace. A close friend spent 8 years in S. America assisting small farm villages. She spent her entire life’s savings doing this because it was her life’s purpose and it was worth doing. It was worth doing because at the end of it she was and is a success. She travels to schools and speaks about her experiences. Her income is modest by any standard.
    I understand your larger point as it relates to the law of attraction but remember that the views of a society and what constitutes success by their standards don’t come from this foundation.
    Thank You for your work!
    B. Poe

    Comment by B. Poe — February 12, 2007 @ 9:44 am

  2. Personal Development Carnival…

    The Best Laid Plans I LOVE this post and wonder if I will actually be sitting in an airport with a delayed flight while you read this as I am currently enroute to Portland. I wholeheartedly agree with Christine Kane…

    Trackback by The Dragon Slayer's Guide to Life — March 23, 2007 @ 5:21 pm

  3. To be successful we must consider Confucius words:”A journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step”. Do what you love to do…and the success and wealth will come to you. The life it is A Big Adventure. Take the lead and go for it!
    Thank you for your words.

    Comment by Gabriela — November 9, 2007 @ 10:59 am

  4. i read plenty of articles like this.but still i cant able to get positive energy.i surrounded of negative to get real energy.i dont have confident.kindly help me

    Comment by thirumalavan — December 27, 2007 @ 10:33 am

  5. I am very satisfied about your thought.
    Very Very Good Thought!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Rohit — October 1, 2008 @ 3:25 pm

  6. very gud description

    Comment by sweety — December 1, 2008 @ 3:54 pm

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