How do we measure sucess?

Is it the “House on the Hill” and the Aston Martin parked in the drive, or is it travelling all around the world, as the company you work for sends you, a lot, or is success something totally different to the sterotypical image of it?

If we look in the mirror, what do we actually see? Do we think a known person, a Richard Branson, looks in their mirror and sees the image of themselves the same?

In general we are all aspiring to the big house, the exotic holidays and flash car, but, does the mirror show someone who is really happy and enjoying life, or, does it show a tired individual who is forever trying to keep up, or ahead, of “the Jones’s”, is life actually enjoyable or is it a constant battle to gain the expectations laid down by society and family?

So, do we mean success or, actually, do we mean happiness. A person who is happy and content must, by very definition, be a success in their world. And here is the reality, everyone has a “their world”, it can be seen as a variety of rings, like those Saturn has, or the Matryoshka, or Nesting Dolls of Russia. They may not all be happy, however, the end result has to add up to a situation that is real.

If we look at these levels, or Rings, or Dolls, we need to start with the smallest, or at the beginning, a very good place to start, this little world is the one made up of immediate family – the life partner, children and parents. It may include brothers and sisters too. Is this little world happy?

The next level is one made up of uncles and aunts, cousins and very close friends. The first ring can survive on its own, but it really can benefit from this second doll to nest inside. So we have a second world, encapsulating the first. Are the two both happy, or has one overshadowed the other??

The third level is more general friends, people you know from school, or just last week in the coffee shop, either way these are friends, not, work colleagues, but, friends. This ring can now go over the other two. Now there are three levels and still work is not included. Are they happy, do they mesh with each other or is it imperative to keep them separate. How are these three now being happy?

One must be careful about making a work colleague more and a proper social friend. Work, and the colleagues there, make the 4th ring, however, this is a delicate ring. You may get on really well with all the colleagues here, but, and think about this, do you want to integrate them into your world of normal friends, world three? Can you really socialize with these people and walk away from the daily work routine? Is the whole work thing the “elephant in the room”? however hard you try do work events or issues, keep cropping up? How can this 4th doll be integrated, it is still there and surrounds the other three worlds, still happy??!!

And the doll keeps growing, we could add a fifth ring just of business associates, everyone from the window cleaner to the CEO has these. If you are the window cleaner, customers are business associates, you may all get on well with them, but, they are clients, end of story!! The CEO may well have hudreds of connections, through the six degrees of separation there are probably millions, literally, however, these people are business associates. Now this level swallows the other worlds, and it all gets bigger……..

Now, we could go on adding levels, little worlds, time and time again. In some instances the doll might finish up huge. With all these rings in place are you still happy, or, and as is said, successful?

Let us go right back to the first ring, the doll containing immediate family, is this, if nothing else, happy and successful? This tiny doll, or ring, is the core of the whole conudrum. At the end of the day, when you go home and close the door, the immediate family are still there, still offering a shoulder to cry upon, or an ear to here the wins. Out of all the levels, this is actually the one that cares the most. The other rings will have a level of care as well, however, everyone in these rings have their own Matroyshka Doll, and their own individual levels, and, every single one of these has the first doll, the collection of their family. Like the song, they all have their own Little Boxes.

Therefore, in this world, the one we all live in, the real world, where we all strive for Success, yes, it is that word again, the actual desire to be seen as one of the successful ones, can Happiness actually represent Success in a more powerful way? is a measure of success the house, the holidays and car or is it the person?

A person who is a beachcomber, who just makes enough financial gain to cover the needs, but, they go swimming, surfing, fishing or just lying in the sun, whenever they want. They are not trying to climb any ladders of social standing, but, are relaxed and very happy with their standing. Are these people, maybe even the tramp asleep under the railway arch, not the truly Successful ones?? Are these people not the true lucky ones, those who are not weighed down by the trials of society, and, just take each day as it comes. Not necessarily aimlessly, but without the established traits, that we are guilty of showing, as we strive for a narrow view of success.

Being aimless means a person has no real need to get up, however, these people have aims and goals. They are just on a whole different plain. Society say struggle for a promotion, or bigger house. The aim of these, truly happy, people is one much smaller. If they caught a 3lb fish yesterday, they want a 4lb one today. If the tide washed in a football today, what will it wash in tomorrow?

One thing will always remain constant – The sun will still rise, and who can know what the tide will wash in…………..

Have we just found true success??


With many, many thanks to Renaissance Life Therapies. They have, and continue to teach me so much.

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