What is a successful life?

Today, in this modern era, we think fast, speak fast, eat fast, walk fast.

Modern society puts pressure on us to move at a quick pace. It is so easy to get caught up in things that we can become like robots. We can forget how to truly live; we become disconnected from our souls and start to believe that this mode of life is our choice.

Everything we do has an objective, a goal.

And there is a pressure on us to be successful in this goal. Modern society has brought with it a pressure to succeed. 

I believe we have never before in human existence been so far away from our Creator, our souls, our existence, our original nature and life purpose. This is the case even though many people consider themselves to be religious.

 Is following or serving our divine purpose possible in a human body?

Confused and unaware of our true nature and purpose, it is easy for most of us to get caught up in earthly success.

As we spend our time here on earth, there is no doubt that somewhere along the line, we will face difficulties, fight to survive and go through trials.

And along the way, we will all have our little triumphs.

To some it is beating a life threatening illness. To others it is successfully raising children. To another it is achieving financial success and being wealthy

For each of us, personal success is different. But there are common themes: wealth, health or happiness.

If I were to ask the average person what success means, I believe most people will give similar answers:  be rich, be happy, be healthy.

But how can we be happy? The source of happiness for many of us is different.

Sure, you may be happy if you win the lottery for example. But how much is enough? If you have enough money to pay bills, buy food, have a house or shelter,  is this still enough?

Subconsciously, you may be afraid that there will be a time when you will lose all that you have. So you work to keep everything you have and the lifestyle that comes with it. If you earn your first million, you will feel the need to go further. You will be scared that you might lose your first million and so you will work even harder to get your second million.

Even if you stop earning and decide to retire early, you may become restless faced with having less to do and not having to make a living anymore.  You enjoyed the chase, setting a goal and moving to further heights.

So how much is enough?

Even when it comes to our physical bodies and our health, modern technology has never been so sophisticated. We will do everything possible to stay alive for longer. In this day and age there is countless research and there are countless products on how we can live longer, look younger, have the perfect body and reverse the effects of ageing.

All of these things we believe will make us happy. All of these things are yet more goals for us to achieve.  Once we have them, we will believe we are successful.

These types of thoughts surrounding success in life  are very common in our modern society. But it makes it harder for us to distinguish between our “wants” and “needs.”

Balancing our needs with our desires, and measuring them against our faults and  our qualities, is something we all commonly do.

Indeed this balancing exercise is one of the most important tools in our life, as it is our own personal guide helping us to determine how successful we are.

But do we really know how to use it?

Ideally, one half of the balancing scale should be desire, and the other half should be a need.

However like a child in a massive candy shop, how are we to know whether the candy surrounding us is a desire or a need? How are we to know whether many of the goals or milestones in today’s society relate to genuine need or whether they are purely desire?

Unfortunately, we cannot carry a balancing scale with us, so we measure approximately and in most of cases we do not measure correctly. We chose either desire or need, but never balance them equally so one side is always unsatisfied.

So instead of trying to measure our success with extravagant and sometimes unachievable goals, why don’t we make it more simple?

Instead of asking what makes a successful life, can’t we see success in living? In surviving, day by day?

If we think about it, every single day is a challenge.

When we cross the street, we are successful because we survived passing to the other side without being hit by a reckless driver.

If we broke up with our partner, we may go through heartbreak and  emotional turmoil but in the end we survive. We are successful.

If we suffered from a health crisis and we are still here today, we are successful. We survived.

If we had to live in a war zone, we survived a war, we are still alive, and we are successful.

If we are struggling to put food on our table, we have no job, no friend to help us out and we survive another day, we are successful.

If a member of our family has passed away we go through so much pain, it hurts.  But we are still breathing, we survived, we are successful.

If our child leaves home, to make their own family, we will be happy for them but still sad because they left. But we survived it. We are successful.

If a young person asks me, what they should strive for, when the time comes for them to leave the family nest and make their way in this world, I would say, strive to survive.

It is hard out there and no matter what we do in our lives, no matter what our desire is, surviving is the most successful act. Therefore, if you survive a day, you are successful person.

No matter what modern society expects of us, there is not a living person on this earth who is unsuccessful.

~ S. DBey

Adaptation of  “What is a General Life Success?” a submission by S.DBey.  If you would like to submit a piece to us, please see the guidelines here.

2 thoughts on “What is a successful life?

  1. I am in total agreement with the fact that everyone is a success: merely, by bieng able to survive from day to day is success in itself.


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