Sat Nam, and Welcome in!
When you look at your life, do you find some peace in your accomplishments? We are all so acutely aware of what everybody else considers a successful day, with social media showing us the perfect lives of the rich, famous, thin, gifted, and young, it’s hard not to compare your day with everybody else. Or compare your whole life with somebody else
I know a hearing-impaired, 82-year-old, who insists that it’s too early to retire and move in with their children, and rely upon someone else to keep their calendar straight, make and keep doctor appointments, get glasses, fill their prescriptions, drive themselves everywhere, maintain an apartment and a car, cook, clean, pay bills on time, manage their stress, eat right, exercise, socialize and just handle 21st century life. “MANY people my age are perfectly fine!,” they insist.
Many people are not perfectly fine, however. Are you anxious a lot, or more often than you were a couple years ago? Do things seem harder now then they did a little while back?
If you answered yes, then most likely you do not feel as if you can claim to be successful right now.
But I’m here to tell you that you are being successful. And if you don’t believe me, maybe your definition of successful needs to be looked at more closely.
Let’s see how we define success, and then try to determine what is truthfully success and what is a belief system which is unlikely to be actually true.
Success is being so rich you never have to worry about money.
Success is being so admired by others that you never have to worry about being loved.
Success is having more material goods today than you did yesterday.
Success is setting a goal to improve yourself and attaining that goal.
Success is having a good reputation.
Success is being your own boss.
Success is having no mental health issues in your life.
Success is having chosen the right partner and having that partner continue to be the right partner until death do you part.
Success is doing a job that you love and getting paid handsomely to do it.
Success is being beautiful at any age.
Success is being beautiful, female, young, thin and rich, with a job in acting, or the Arts.
Success is living in a gorgeous place, in a gorgeous home, with a pool and a garden and a wine cellar and, with a little more luck, a full-time staff. Let’s throw in a couple three four of these homes, in lovely locales, a private jet, a yacht, and A-list party invitations.
Success is getting really good at a hobby, or sport, or whatever you do for “fun.”
Success is not being addicted to anything. Not ANYTHING.
Success is being a happy person most of the time.
Success is being spiritually enlightened.
Whew! I’m sure I missed a few, but this list is a good start. These are things most human beings alive today would look at and consider—this person is successful.
But all of the accomplishments in the world do not make a person automatically feel successful, right? I know that, as you looked at each image, you saw through how having that situation in life does not mean you are OK, right?
So what really determines success? Is it enough to just be OK with what is going on, even when what is going on is a shit show?
So if we look at each individual, it’s quite different, right? For the one on the park bench at night, getting a few hours uninterrupted sleep and not getting hassled or rained on is success.
If you're a caregiver, going the whole weekend without having a major setback is a success.
Getting a free coffee at McDonald’s one morning is a success.
The day you get out of prison in one piece and sane is a success.
Your 30-day chip is a success.
Your last mortgage payment is a success.
Your last semester in college is a success.
Your working today, on making progress toward any goal at all, that’s a success.
The trip to the grocery store, got everything you needed, paid for it, didn’t get into a car accident, got home and food put away safely for another week, that’s a success.
Maintaining your home, your body, your pet(s), for one day, that’s a success.
Not to mention the million things you do all day every day or every week or month to maintain your lifestyle—making and keeping appointments, fulfilling your obligations at work or at social functions, going to yoga, or church, or the gym, or a movie or concert…this is success.
But finally, I submit to you that the true feeling of success could maybe lie in taking in the present moment and realizing that you have GOT to have been a successful person just by being able to do that. Just by being able to become aware of the present moment, and not complain about what is happening during it, is success. Stand there, or sit there, and breathe in, breathe out, become aware you are in your body, become aware you have a thinking mind, and that you are Present.
So if you are driving along and somebody cuts right in front of you, and you begin to scream and curse at them and make everybody in the car freak out and get all anxious and upset with you, is that successful?
Why not? There are 50 ways to deal with that crisis, and you picked one. That’s the one you picked. You successfully negotiated that crisis. There will be fallout, karma, consequences, like there is with everything. Maybe the karma will be beneficial, maybe not…not important. Everything is unfolding as it is going to unfold and in that moment whatever is happening is the TRUTH of your existence and therefore it is the reality of the present moment.
Realizing the present moment and acting with conscious intention, maybe catching a break and maybe not, that’s all we have. It’s all we are.
Are you there? Are you in the moment with me? Are you aware you are alive and right now everything is OK?
That’s success. And it’s never farther away than the next moment.
You don’t attain success. You are success.
You are already complete.
Sat Nam, and thanks for watching,