Everyone has a different definition of success. For some, the definition may include the amount of money their bank account, the number of followers they have on social media, or the level of influence they have on a group of people. In the world of social media, a place where people flaunt their material possessions and exotic vacations, some might equate all of that to being successful. But that’s not what life is all about.
At times, I still compare my life to the people I follow on social media. I want a better house, job, car, and body. I used to be discontent with my life and wanted to be someone who could just hop on a plane and go to any part of the world. I measured success by material and superficial possessions. I failed to see how blessed I was: I have a family who loves me, the friends that adore me, and the best bosses at work.
So, I had to redefine what success means to me. My secret? I remember my blessings which makes me content with my life. I have seen many young people who are hungry for more in their lives. While there is actually nothing wrong with aspiring for more, people can have the wrong mindset of desiring and feeling jealous of what others have.
Kyrzayda Rodriguez, a famous fashion blogger, passed away recently from cancer at 40 years old. In one of her last posts, she writes, “I have a brand new car parked outside that can’t do anything for me; I have all kinds of designer clothes, shoes, bags, that can’t do anything for me. I have money in my account that can’t do anything for me; I have a big well-furnished house, that can’t do anything for me.
Look, I’m lying here on a twin size hospital bed; I can take a plane any day of the week if I like but that can’t do anything for me. So do not let anyone make you feel bad for the things you don’t have, but the things you do have, be happy with those. If you have a roof over your head, who cares what kind of furniture is in it? The most important thing in life is love. Lastly, make sure you enjoy the ones you love and don’t give up on them.”
She shares a powerful message, indeed. We now live in an age where comparison is one of our most significant issues, all because of social media. People are discontent with their own realities based on what others post online. We must be careful. At the end of the day, what truly matters is our relationships, impacts on others, and living a life full of purpose. No one thinks about material things when they are near the end of their lives. If all you have is material possessions, you will pass away full of regret.
We can often be misled by observing, and even being jealous of other people’s wealth and accomplishments. Sometimes, we think if we have all of that, then we’re successful too. There are many wealthy and influential people who aren’t happy. We’ve all woken up to the news of famous people (who we believe have everything) taking their own lives. Clearly, money and fame are not metrics that should define success.
Arianna Huffington, the co-founder of The Huffington Post, said in an interview that money and power are not enough metrics to define success––there must be a third. The third metric, according to her, consists of four pillars: well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving. I completely agree with her, because some people in the quest for success, money, fame, or power neglect the things that really matter.
"No matter how much money or influence you have, if you don’t have good health and more importantly, love, then you have nothing."
This point reminds me of a passage from the Bible that reads: “Beloved, I pray that you prosper in all things, and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” To me, this highlights what Huffington points out; your physical and mental health must be sound. Both have to work hand in hand as you make your mark in the world. If you’re not seeking wisdom during the process, then it’s easy for you to stray down the wrong path.
There is always room for growth, so you must maintain that child-like wonder along the way because you haven’t seen it all. And if you are accumulating a large amount of wealth and aren’t giving back to the society, then you are doing a great disservice to the world. Acts of giving give meaning and purpose to our lives; even when you make someone smile, you have accomplished something great.
Regardless of your definition of success, make sure you pursue things that are meaningful. We all have a purpose and should strive to accomplish that. We must influence people positively along the way, by thinking not only of ourselves along this journey but others who are tied to our lives. This quote sums up my message: "If your prayers get answered today, would it change only your life or the lives of others as well?"
So what is true success? It’s okay for our answers to be different, but we each must define this for ourselves, free from the pursuit of material possessions and the comparison of others’ success. Our definition will influence the direction of our lives and shape the marks we leave in this world more than we can even imagine. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Also remember to like, share and subscribe, never to miss an update.
About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian writer and content creator on letstalknationblog.com. She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to affect change, she launched her online platform Let’s Talk Nation, to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.
Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she has lived for about 11 years. In addition, she has lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor.