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Friday Inspiration - 20 June 2008
By Melissa Bult

What Is Success?
I started off this year totally freaked out that I am going to turn 30 years old in December.  At the time I was still working in a job that was not my purpose, I am not married, nor do I have any children and I am no where near buying grown up things like a house.  For awhile there I felt I was not successful and a part of me believed that I wanted to be what society considers successful by my 30th birthday.  I have since had a change of heart and I am excited about my coming turn of age and this has a lot to do with rearranging some of my ideas about what success is.  So today’s inspiration is all about success.
What does success mean to you?  It is interesting to think about.  When I was younger I always imagined I would be successful when I was earning good money, had a great job or my own business, got married and had a beautiful home, car and all the accessories.  The world at large tends to portray being successful as having lots of money or things, the ‘right’ job, a position of power or a good job title in your career, the right education and of course successful people are always busy with work and socially. 
Having material success does not mean that you will feel like you are succeeding in your life.  And it certainly will not guarantee you happiness - how many actors end up in rehab, CEO’s end up with heart problems and very wealthy people are taking Prozac for depression?!  We are working harder but living less.  Do you work full time and live part time in the name of supposed success? 
We are a wanting society and we need to have ‘things’.  We want to have success, to get love, to own the right things and have a great life.  Things seem to be apart from us and so we constantly pursue them, which really is a big waste of our lives.  It has been found that having lots and being so called ‘successful’ does not equal having a happy life.  There is more money circulating in society than ever before and yet the rates of depression, job dissatisfaction, suicide and drug or alcohol abuse are at record highs. 
Looking at what we value is one key way to understand what success means to us.  Values can be things like health, honesty, love, family, contribution, integrity, growth or anything that you really value.  It is good to list your top 10 values in order of their priority in your life.  I believe that living up to our values helps us to get clear about what being successful means to us.  If your top value is health but you spend your time working long hours in extremely stressful conditions then you are not likely to be in alignment with that value. 
You also need to get a vision for your life and who you really are.  Without vision no matter how busy we are we will have no real direction.  Create a vision of your ideal life noting down not only how you would like to see it but also how you would like to feel.  Also ask yourself who am I really?  By this I am not talking about the ‘personality’ traits that you perceive yourself to possess, but rather finding a deeper level, a more spiritual connection to who you are.   This will help you get clearer on what success means for you.
Success can be overcoming a fear or sharing more deeply with another human being.  It could be seeing the world through more compassionate and loving eyes or choosing to live life by what you can give rather than what you can get.  I have learned that when I can be more present in the moment, make someone smile, be compassionate or think nicer thoughts about myself I feel successful. 
There is nothing that you need to do or prove to consider yourself a success because it is only your perception anyway.  Understand that there is nothing wrong with material success but it does not have to come at the price of your quality of life.  When we can allow things to come through us by living in alignment with our true-selves and our values we can obtain material success without the same kind of strain. 
The main point is to get to understand your beliefs about success.  What are your beliefs, where did they come from and are they serving or nourishing you?  Do you believe that success comes purely from hard work?  Or do you believe that when you do reach a point of feeling like your life is a success and everything is going well, it cannot last?  Once you get in touch with what you believe you can then go about ensuring you create beliefs that are helpful, positive and in alignment with what you truly value in life. 
To me a life filled with joy, contribution, peace, love and gratitude is success.  Allow yourself to be inspired (to be in-spirit) in life and above all recognize that you are perfect, whole and complete in every moment just because you exist – there is nothing you need to prove to be loveable.  You are already as successful as you believe yourself to be!
Have a fantastic weekend.  Go out there and shine your light!
Love and light
Melissa x
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