Minimalism- What Is Success?


I attended a seminar recently.

From an apparently very ‘successful’ person.

He boasted all about his life.

He boasted how he was some Olympiad champion.

He also boasted how he holds such a brilliant position in some company.

He boasted about his cars, bungalows and packages. And trips. And many more such luxuries.

And not with much subtlety, he established that his life is like the benchmark of being successful.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I was also inspired. He talked in a mesmerizing manner. And all that jazz.

His talk got over. He went out and I went behind him to ask few questions.

And, I saw that he was shouting at his driver.

He belittled him. He condescended him. And few seconds later, he slapped him. Apparently because the driver parked in the wrong place. And the driver was feeling humiliated and was on the verge of a break down.

This is success?

Probably for him, yes.

For me, no.

And I came back home and I pondered: What is success?

Is being rich and having many bungalows success?

Is having a chauffeur driven high-end car success?

Is occupying a big position in a multinational corporate house success?

Is being an entrepreneur success?

Is being a celebrity success?

Is starting a blog success?

Is converting a blog into online business success?

Is writing a book success?

Is being a teacher success?

Is thinking that neither of them is true, success?

What the fuck is success?

And, I realized I am thinking it all wrong.

Success for most of its part is subjective.

I probably might feel I am successful but you might not. You probably might feel I am successful but I wouldn’t think the same for myself.

The definition of success too will change from time to time for you.

Few months back, success for me was stacking up money and showing it off. Now, success is not the same for me.

The definition of success changed.

We have been led to believe that success is something generalized. That there is a fix success template: that is having loads of money, big bungalow, expensive cars and luxuries alike.

Now, this might be actually success for some of us.

For the rest of us, we just follow it blindly thinking that the world can decide for us that what success is. That the society is the ultimate judge of whether we’re successful or not.

And when that delusion shatters, it pains. Terribly.

The question still remains that what is success?

For most of the part, a myth.

Because no one can tell you what success is for you and the definition of success will change for you.

And so, I stopped aiming to be successful.

You heard it right.

I don’t want to be successful.

Instead now I aim to be valuable. 

Being valuable. Creating value. For yourself. For the people around. For the whole fucking world.

Something which will constantly push me to be a better person. A better human. And better at everything I do. Every relation. Every work. Everything. Not perfect. But better.

I’ll ask myself before doing anything, “Have I created value?”

If the answer is yes, I am on the right track.

If the answer is no, I am probably off track.

Value can be anything.

As small as giving someone a hug to as big as creating a multinational giant which fills in a gap of missing value.

As small as be true to all the relations you have. To be true to yourself. And it can be as humongous as solving a social need.

As small as just being there for someone. As small as loving someone. To as large as being a hope for someone.

As small as breathing and as large as living.

To create value.

Genuine happiness lies here.

We are humans: beings of creation. We want to create.

If this post affects one person also, I know I have created value for that person.

If I inspire someone, I know I have created value.

If I help someone, I know have created value.

Create value.

For me, this small change in perception has turned my whole fucking life tipsy curvy.

Every night, I look in the mirror and I ask myself, ” Have I created value?”

If the answer is yes, I sleep soundly.

If the answer is no, I go and create value.

Praising the deserving. Helping someone. Or just reassuring. Or making someone smile.

Creating value is not difficult, if you have the aim to do that.

I don’t know whether being successful equates with being happy.

I definitely know that creating value equates to being happy.

And being happy is anyways the whole point.

Isn’t it?

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10 thoughts on “Minimalism- What Is Success?

  1. I enjoyed this. To me success is being content and . I never feel comfortable when I rely on objects for happiness. I had a car, a full time job and a home full of things once. Those things can all be taken away and then what are you left with? If these things make a person happy then good for them but it worries me when people can’t look beyond that.

    Keep on keeping on.

    • True that.

      I too have seen people living with all these things and thinking that material goods are what they ultimately gain.

      However, I find this idea really scary that, you depend so much on things which are external to you and weight your worth on that basis.

      Thank you so much for lovely words.

      Keep reading. Cheers 🙂

  2. That’s a really powerful change in perspective: striving to be bring value to people’s lives, instead of trying to be rich, successful, etc.

    I work at a very traditional law firm, and I’ve been struggling lately with the way we bill clients: we charge them an hourly rate for our time, rather than for the value we bring to a task. So spending 6 minutes sending an email is billed the same as 6 minutes making argument in court, or 6 minutes doing intense legal research. These things are not all equal.

    Unfortunately while I’m working there I won’t have a lot of chance to implement any changes, but I’m leaving this summer to set out on my own, and my plan is to provide my clients with value-billing. It’s not a huge change, but I know I’ll feel more satisfied with my work because of it.

    • True that.

      When you generally perceive things with the perspective of attaining success, generally, we tend to walk over a lot of people, including ourselves.

      When you shift the perspective to this approach, we find a significant difference in the way, we see and perceive things.

      I am glad, you’ve understood the difference so well.

      All the best for the firm. It is bound to be immensely valuable with this kind of mindset of yours.

      Thank you for such an insightful comment!

      Keep reading and keep in touch. Cheers 🙂

  3. How TRUE!! Success may be subjective but if it fails to bring humility…it is just arrogance! and this great speaker you are talking about seems to be in love with himself. But such persons too make us learn as he inspired you to think! We may give different names to our pursuit of success, if we have peace and happiness within us, we have all.
    Wonderful post!! keep it up!

    • Thank you so much for such an insightful comment.

      Yes, I too feel that success is definitely subjective.

      But when I aim at being valuable instead of successful, I generally feel much better about everything.

      So the peace and happiness.

      Thank you reading. Means a world. Keep in touch and cheers!

  4. We can be more than productive, more than efficient work-machines. I like your choice of the word “valuable”. We are all already valuable. We can improve our value, sure, but it is totally different than the crazed dash after higher and higher levels of success that never ends.

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