I can’t imagine a single individual who doesn’t desire a “successful” life. No one sets out on a grand adventure crossing their fingers and hoping they fail. Success, conceptually is simple, you set a goal and accomplish it. But the execution… the doing and sometimes even the “what comes next when you succeed” is a little more complex.
What I hope to see normalised and the direction I believe we are heading towards, is a society full of self-aware individuals. Without self-awareness, you can “succeed” all you want and ultimately never get it right. Success and its deep ties to large amounts of money and social approval can easily lead us down a path that is unfulfilling and for many, depressing. So here’s what I’m suggesting: if you want to lead a successful life, you should start by closely examining your current definition of success and have the courage to throw out everything tied to it that doesn’t align with your values/spirit and redefine it. If you’ve never done this, you may come to realise how misaligned you are in your beliefs and your practices. Or perhaps it will simply reinforce how aligned you are.
This is something to take your time with and come back to as often as you need to. I encourage you to take the time right now to make a list of your values and what makes life meaningful. If you don’t have a lot of time, maybe just jot down the first few or set a reminder to come back to this when you’re ready.
When you have your list of values, it’s time to set yourself up for “success” (haha) by creating mind and body practices that align or perhaps focusing on getting rid of those habits/behaviours that don’t. I feel as though this is truly about self-examination and the willingness to experiment or seek assistance from an expert. This is all about putting the definition of success to work; bringing thought and action together.
Here are 4 of my favorite tips/advice:
1. Start small. I have a habit of trying not only to change big things about myself at a vast rate, but also changing multiple big things at once. It puts a lot of pressure on us and often it’s that pressure that leads us to “fail” instead of succeed. For example, if health is something you value and improving it means eating less processed foods or meat, then cut out red meat and start there. Cut out 1 regular processed food meal or menu item. Perhaps even one that you won’t really miss and replace it with plant based whole foods.
2. Start easy. Utilise the power of conditioned behaviour by creating a habit that leads to you better actions and try not to choose the hardest aspect about it right off the bat. I heard a story where this gentleman made a habit of driving to the gym after work and walking in only to spend 5 minutes there. That was all he committed to until he increased that time to 20 minutes and so on. If drinking more water and staying hydrated is a priority for your health, but it’s not something you do or like to do, start easy. Set a reminder to go get water every day. Make it a ritual that you’ll at least go somewhere to access water and take a sip. A sip can turn into a glass, which can turn into drinking your appropriate amount of water to stay hydrated.
3. Know what to do when you “fail.” We are going to fail a lot in life. It’s important to have a healthy perspective of failure. We have to be able to accept it and say it’s okay while healing any hurt that it may cause. And then we have to use the experience to either learn that the goal/ambition that we failed at isn’t something we truly value. Or we have to realise that we value that success so much that we are willing to try… and try again… and try again… until we succeed.
4. Drown out the noise/Courage is required. They say most people live their life in fear or in love; be courageous enough to love what you love without the opinions/judgements of others dragging you down a path that isn’t true to you. Be mindful of the information you take in and pages you subscribe to. Do to the people you surround yourself with make you feel inspired and encouraged or are they always making to feel like you should lean into living a fearful life.
Don’t Wait To Begin
I hope you take the last little bit of time you have after reading this to utilise those tips and begin. Like I said, start small. Write down a single mind/body action, that you can do which will pull you into alignment with your values and definition of success. Set a daily alarm if you need to or find an accountability partner. Set a deadline to check your progress and rework the action if necessary.
Wishing you all a successful life by creating more alignment with your body, mind, and spirit (the definition of yoga)!