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The definition of success has been shoved down your throat ever since you were a kid. Success is that one thing every person struggles for. The idea of success changes throughout our life according to our age and priorities. A very common notion of success involves getting good grades in school, a bright career after that, followed by earning a lot of money, then buying a big house and an expensive car, and if possible, receiving fame, or recognition. Success is popularly associated with all the material gains or with the accomplishment of your goals.

Robin Sharma, one of the top leadership experts in the world, went a little step further by realizing the nuances of success and came up with its eight forms:

  • Inner Success is the one which includes a positive attitude, emotional well-being, mental balance, and a strong sense of spirituality. It means not losing your mental poise irrespective of the situation you are in.
  • Physical Success is the one where your body is in good shape and well-fed with a healthy diet. Health is wealth after all!
  • Family Success is the one which involves having a great family life. At the end of a tiring day, we need loving people to come home to. If you have a caring family, then that is nothing short of success.
  • Career Success is the one where you reach the zenith of your professional life. This kind of success leaves you feeling satisfied with reaching your full potential.
  • Economic Success is the one where you use your skills and knowledge to earn a decent amount of money to provide well for yourself and your family.
  • Community Success is the one where your need of belongingness is fulfilled. Having a group of good friends and mentors makes life rewarding.
  • Adventure Success is the one where the need for novelty and challenge is satisfied. Going on regular vacations, exploring new places, trying out new things is a feast for the mind.
  • Impact Success is the one which fulfills the need of causing a difference in this world. We feel better when we contribute our part to make this world a better place to live.

Robin Sharma did give a broader perspective to success and it is absolutely worth living by. However, considering all the forms of success, it looks like the roads to all of them would be tedious. Very few people actually cover all these areas in their life.

But what about you? Where do you stand at this stage of your life? Have you accomplished any form of success yet? If not, did you feel disappointed with not being able to even graze any of these forms of success?

Don’t let the definitions of success cloud your wisdom about what is good for you. Those definitions and categories should be used as general guidelines for you to know the direction in which you should be heading in life. But the fact remains that only you can define what success means to you. There are monks who are peaceful and happy without money or a family life. There are people who put money before anything else. There are people who prioritize their health. There are people who give up their health and money in order to keep their family happy. There are people who resign from their jobs to travel the world. There are people who opt for a career that doesn’t fetch a lot of money just for the sake of their passion. You have to choose for yourself the forms of success that mean the most to you and start working toward accomplishing them.

Success, as people believe, is all about achieving something- a goal that is quite ahead in life. You put in efforts to reach a goal and once you get there, you call it success. But sometimes, success is not just about that. Success is not always something you achieve in the future. It also exists in small things, little efforts and the baby steps you take toward achieving your goals. If you forgave a person today, if you completed a task you had been putting off, if you ate a healthy meal after a week of junk food, if you finally sent out that resume after being sabbatical, if you let go of that grudge, if you called a childhood bestie after a long time, if you became a better person today, if you tried your best, it still counts as success.

Do not let the idea of some future success strip you of your present happiness while you are in the pursuit of something that is beyond the horizon.

After all, what you do today would determine where you stand tomorrow. And this means success isn’t just the future. Success is now.

About the author:

“Radhika works as a visiting lecturer at the University of Mumbai. She completed her B.A. and  M.A (Gold medal) in Sanskrit from the Mumbai University. She has a passion for languages especially English, Sanskrit, and German and has written articles on Upanishads. She provides content development services. She likes teaching and writing. Her hobbies include reading and listening to music.”

(The author is a guest blogger at Her Second Innings. The opinions expressed are those of the author.)

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