We live in a world where things are dictated to us from a young age. What is right and wrong. What is good and bad, and what is success and failure. From the very beginning, if you are not walking by a certain age, something isn’t right. If you are not doing well in school, something isn’t right. If you are not excelling at a sport, or being recognized for something, then something isn’t right.
We are bombarded with preconceived notions of what we should be, and that defines our success. If you become a lawyer or a doctor, you are successful. If you are a trash collector, you are not as successful as the others.
I have learned those thoughts and labels are bullshit, and not the way we are supposed to live. Why it has taken a good chunk of my life to realize this, I am still trying to figure that out. There is no help from society or others to guide you in this direction. It seems it is a self-realization that you need to seek out and find yourself, or you may never get the benefit of living the best life you can.
Success is a definition provided by society. Maybe it is money, status, or some other characteristic we see, but it does not define the person at a deeper level. I am willing to bet that many visually successful people, by societies definition, are not happy.
The idea of excellence came to me from reading a book titled “Surrender the Outcome” by Brooks Cupps. In this book, the main character is searching for himself and his purpose. A coach by profession and choice, he struggles to see what is important, and begins being engulfed by societies definition of success and his life.
The way excellence is described is what happens or what is achieved when you follow your heart and become the best you can be. There is no preconceived notion, there is no status check, it is simply growing and finding what sets your soul on fire and letting those values and purpose guide you on your journey of life. Looking into your heart and seeing the value in everything you do, to me defines excellence and success for anyone. Forget about the person with the status or title or money, but give me the person that will claw tooth and nail to do what they love every single day, because the value they believe they are providing to the world immensely outweighs any critics. The critics are silenced, and the individual becomes a greater version of themselves, unharmed and un-waivered by the bullshit society can lay on them.
I have always thought I was different. People always asking why I am doing certain things. Not understanding my choices. Always deep in thought with myself and never satisfied. I know what I love doing, I found it in my life. Some would say late, I say at the right time. I know what defines me. I know what makes me a better person. I know what sets my soul on fire. To be remembered for that, and to live my life through every filter that provides, defines not a successful life, but more, an excellent life.
This world is filled with labels, notions, ideas, images, and directions that are supposed to be cookie cutter. If you don’t follow them, you are out of the norm. Screw that. Reflect with yourself, and find out what makes you tick, and pour your soul into everything that comes out of that reflection. What do YOU believe is important? Is it your health? Is it your time with your family? What do you truly love to do? Strive to achieve excellence in those things every day. Let those things guide your journey through life. You will start living for yourself and not others, and you will find not only a greater inner peace, but a fire raging inside of you to make this life everything you believe it should be.
Success is defined by others. Excellence is defined by you. Strive for excellence in everything you do, not success.