This morning, I heard Arianna Huffington say two words that started a storm in my brain. Those two words were "redefining success." I imagine in so many ways, Arianna and Agapi, her sister, have done just that. And pondering those two words got me wondering what my own definition of success is today.
What do I think of when someone tells me, "So and so is super successful?" What comes up for me? What comes up for you? What images and pictures and words show up?
Celebrity? Mansion? Millionaire? Best seller? Award-winning? Superstar?
And yet, celebrity doesn't last (hence, Andy Warhol's oft-quoted idea of "15 minutes of fame"). Mansions crumble, millions can be lost, today's best seller is tomorrow's forgotten tome and next year someone else will win the award, be the superstar, etc.
It's true, I definitely want success as much as the next gal. Aw yeah, baby! Great success! And you want it, too, don't you?
I can tell you with impunity that I want to do, be and have some measure of greatness. I want to make a difference. I want to create something amazing and beautiful and life-changing. But beneath all of the "success" that you and I are looking for (however we define it), what is there really?
What is it we are really looking for? And how do we define that?
I say we're all looking for the same thing. If we dig around under that big, beautiful, messy pile called "my ideas about success" we will find the same thing...
And sometimes we think that super-stardom-mega-wealthy-best-seller status will give us that. Peace from struggle, from overwhelm, from broken heartedness, from financial worries... and yet... we all know the multitude of stories that contradict that whole idea.
The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is empty -- it's tarnished -- by bankruptcy, by divorce, by scandal or just plain ol' run-of-the-mill bad timing, bad luck and bad karma.
True success can't be taken away by any amount of those terrifyingly bad "what-ifs." Because true success begins to happen when we realize that everything that comes into our experience is there to teach us, to grow us to create something greater in us.
When we learn how to continually bring ourselves back into this present moment, when we recognize and believe that the universe is always supporting us, we will find success.
Whatever you experience, you must experience right now in this present moment. Now is the only time we have, and our power, our strength and indeed, all of our success resides here, in the now.
When we can realize that right now in this moment, everything is okay, we can experience peace.
Peace is what we are all looking for, and when we find it, in that moment -- that's success.