“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.” — Jim Rohn
Just What Is the Meaning of Success?
What does it mean to really succeed in life? Does it mean having lots of money? Maybe it means jet-setting around the world, hobnobbing with the rich-and-famous, and partying like a rockstar. Or, maybe it means living a charitable life devoted to service and helping the less-fortunate in the world meet some basic human needs like food, water, or shelter.
No matter how you look at it, success can mean many different things to many different people. It’s a little bit different for each individual person. We don’t all want success with the exact same things. We don’t all want the exact same amount of money or prestige, but there are certainly some resounding themes to what succeeding in life means.
Succeeding in this “Thing” Called Life
Not too long ago, I wrote a book called The Silk Merchant – Ancient Words of Wisdom to Help you Live a Better Life Today. The story is about a man named Pontus, a silk merchant, who lived two thousand years ago. The tale chronicles his life living in the shadows of his half-brother, Tiberius, the King.
Tiberius was the son that was born in wedlock, with nearly every opportunity afforded to him in life. But, Pontus, was the bastard-child who’s mother was discarded by the king and forced to live in poverty. However, the story details just how success met the two brothers in different ways, and just what the meaning of success was to each of them.
To Tiberius, success meant a unification of the three kingdoms, to pillage and plunder his enemies, and to seek his will at all costs. Nothing was sacred to him other than gold. However, to Pontus, who grew up with no silver spoon in his mouth, succeeding in life could only be done in one way: through persistence.
Understanding the Foundational Meaning of Success
I won’t spoil the entire back story of The Silk Merchant here, but the book chronicles Pontus’s journey in life and his discovery of the success laws. Of course, you can imagine just how different even two half-brothers’ lives could be when one was handed all the money, power, and influence in the world on a silver platter and the other had to work tooth-and-nail for it.
The point, however, is that, regardless of your specific definition of success, to truly succeed in life, you must abide by a certain set of rules. This “Success Code” if you will, should be the framework that you govern your life by. Because, succeeding in life isn’t easy; we all know that by now. But, what we fail to do are make the proper sacrifices that are required of us for long-term success.
Success Laws to Govern Our Lives
When we fail to live by the success laws, we tend to look to the short-term gain over our long-term name. We tend to take the easy way out. We throw in the towel and look for the path of least resistance because that’s how the human mind is designed to operate. The mind is habitual; basal if you will. It operates on innate desires for pleasure that are rooted in our genetic code.
But, it’s our job to override that desire for instant-pleasure and live life according to the success laws. We can’t simply take the easy way out because we’re afraid of the long and arduous journey littered with obstacles that need to be overcome in order to live the life that we truly desire.
Yet, when we’re struggling to pay the bills, who can think of launching a business that would take years to get off the ground before we can even see a decent paycheck? When we can’t afford to enjoy life our minds have a funny way of moving us out of pain and into pleasure. We don’t want to suffer. Human beings weren’t made to just survive, we were made to thrive.
But, although we were meant to thrive, the mind has a funny way of putting what it wants into the short-term perspective and not into the long-term perspective. What do I mean? Well, let’s take cigarette smoking for example. Everyone knows that cigarette smoking is bad for them, yet they still do it. Why is that? The mind is doing more to avoid pain than gain pleasure in the short term, not in the long term.
The cigarette smoker won’t quit smoking because their mind has associated smoking with pleasure in the short term. Once that cigarette hits their mouths and they take that first drag, it’s instantaneous pleasure. Even if they know, somewhere in the back of their minds that cigarette smoke can kill them in the long term, they’ve associated more pain to quitting in the short term than they have to the potential pain and illness it will cause them in the long term.
How to Succeed Using the Success Laws
So, we’re not all perfect. Whether we smoke cigarettes or we have some other vice, we all want something out of life. But, usually when we’re pushing towards a goal, we fail or we simply give up. Yes, we do more to avoid pain than we do to gain pleasure. However, what we must do in order to succeed doesn’t involve taking the easy road. In fact, it involves taking a windy and twisty road that could lead to dead-ends in many places.
This is when the foundational laws of success can help to guide us. They can offer a beacon of shining light in a sea of dreaded waters. They’re the GPS system for helping us find our way when we’re lost. As long as you abide by the success laws, you can succeed in life, no matter what that success means to you.
So, what exactly are these success laws?
Success Law #1 – Love
Whatever success means to you in life, you must come from a platform of love. Love is the strongest type of vibrational energy in existence, and anyone who approaches their daily tasks and rituals from a platform of love will succeed. This might sound obscure to you if you’re unable to see the deeper meaning in things.
However, through experiential knowledge, we gain an understanding of just how people succeed in life when they come from a platform of love. The actor who loves his job and puts his all into it, succeeds when they don’t give up. The business owner who loves his customers, his products, or his services, and delivers them, not from a platform of greed, but of love, succeeds in the long term when they don’t give up.
Love is the foundational core to all that we do; it’s the concrete foundation to the skyscraper of success. If you have hate in your heart, immediately replace it with love. Why? Hate can take up so much of our mental, emotional, and spiritual resources, that it can completely stop us dead in our tracks from succeeding. Fill your heart with love every day and you’ll watch how success unfolds over time.
Success Law #2 – Faith
Not just religious faith. This is faith in good things to come. It weaves together the invisible with the visible. It calls into action the Law of Attraction that simply states that we will move towards what we believe in. If we believe at the core that we can succeed, whatever that success means to us, we will. When we don’t believe, we can’t do so.
So many people out there will simply say that they can’t succeed in life because they don’t have the right amount of opportunity, money, connections, or anything else. But faith is the belief that, no matter what your situation is, you will be able to succeed. It’s telling yourself that you can overcome any obstacles that are thrown in your way on the path to success.
How you implement the law of faith is entirely up to you. But the more fervently you believe, the more you’re likely to move towards that which you believe in. Now, this doesn’t mean you should ignore your problems. It means that you should solve your problems but focus on the bigger picture; believe even when there’s no reason for you to believe.
When Thomas Edison was inventing the first commercially-viable electric lightbulb he had the faith and belief that he would succeed, eventually. It took him over 10,000 failures to get it right. Could you imagine failing at something 10,000 times yet still pursuing it with gusto? Sometimes, that’s just what it takes.
Success Law #3 – Gratitude
The third law of success involves gratitude. It means that you should happily succeed rather than succeed to be happy. You can’t base your entire life and self-worth on some monetary dollar amount. You can’t tell yourself that you’re worthless if you don’t have a million dollars in the bank (or euros, pounds, or whatever other currency amounts to a great sum of money in today’s economy).
Having gratitude and being grateful allows you to approach things differently. It allows you to move along the pathway to success with a different perspective. You can’t focus on missed opportunities, fears, worries, and anxieties. Be happy for what you have, and be grateful that you’re not in a worse situation than you are now. There are far more people out there that are suffering more than you.
Look to those that are less fortunate than you on your road to succeed in life, whatever that success might mean to you. As soon as you start doing this, you’ll not only experience life on a higher level, but you’ll find some peace-of-mind. Gratitude helps to fill our mind, body, and spirit with an ease of comfort, like a breeze on a summer’s day that lasts longer than expected.
Success Law #4 – Integrity
When we want to succeed, some want to do so at all costs. We’ve all had this battle in our minds. Should we take the easy way out, even if no one is looking? Do we look to the short-term gain and sacrifice our long-term name? Integrity is an important law of success, and one that every individual should live by.
We’ve all seen the notable and successful in business fall from grace due to a momentary lapse in integrity. But how many others fail to reach the top due to a lack of integrity from the get-go? Always do things the honest way if you want to succeed in the long term. Sure, taking a shortcut might give you some short-term boost on the road to success, but karma will come back around and spite you.
Don’t ever sacrifice your integrity for anything. Your word should be your bond in life if you want to succeed. Our entire civilization is rooted in this law. Don’t take it for granted no matter what.
Success Law #5 – Contribution
Contribution might not seem like a law of success to some people, but it’s just as important as the other laws are. Why is that? Well, when you contribute, you send a message to your mind telling you that there’s more than enough. But, beyond that, you’re also shifting the focus from a solitary-oriented position to a network-oriented position in success.
This mental shift not only helps those that are less fortunate, but it also helps your mind to realize that there’s more than enough to go around and that more is on the way. Many people don’t value contribution. They don’t value the importance of giving to others when striving to achieve whatever successes they desire in life. But it’s as important.
Without contribution, you can’t succeed in the long term. You have to contribute to others whenever you can. Even if you don’t have the money to give to others, give your time, which is far more valuable than money. When you start contributing to others, it will open up a whole new world of perspective that can help build a greater foundation for success in life.
Success Law #6 – Family
Family is one of the most important things that we have in life. And, in life, we only get one family. We mustn’t squander our relationships with our family due to petty disputes. No matter what it is, the importance of family is paramount. When there’s relationship stress or internal family conflicts, succeeding at something in life becomes remarkably difficult.
Don’t take family for granted. A harmonious family is integral to success in any area of life. You can’t succeed if you’re spending all of your mental, emotional, spiritual, and even physical faculties entangled with your family. Your mind has difficulty processing an overall advancement in any area of life when so many of its resources are tackling internal strife.
Success Law #7 – Restraint
To succeed in life, you have to practice restraint. This applies to all areas of your life, whether it’s financial restraint in the overspending of money, relationship restraint in being true and faithful, business restraint in being honest to customers, clients, employees, and partners, and so on. The list can go on and on. Restraint is something that must be rigorously practiced if you want to succeed in life.
But the fundamental success law of restraint also boils down to our desire for instant gratification and pleasure that’s akin to all human beings. We’re pleasure-driven animals; it’s instinctive in us to want to satisfy our urges immediately. Think about the impatience of the population as a whole – we want what we want and we want it now, whether it’s high-speed internet, prompt service at restaurants, or anything else; we live in a “now” society.
So, being able to override our internal psychology is akin to succeeding at anything. If you want to shoot for long-term success you must practice restraint in every area of your life. This goes for anything that you could overindulge in from alcohol, to cigarettes, to prescription drugs, to food, and so on.
Success Law #8 – Focus
On the other end of the spectrum from restraint lies focus. When we’re able to focus our mind’s eye on something, we can draw it nearer to us. Think about a car that you’ve recently purchased or leased in the past. Suddenly, once the transaction has been completed, you see that car everywhere. Do you think that it’s because, somehow, mystically or magically, more people purchased that car suddenly after you decided to do so? Of course not.
This is an example of the mind’s ability to focus on something and begin to see it everywhere. When we don’t focus on things, we fail to see see them or draw them nearer. Furthermore, focus is an important law of success because, without it, we couldn’t inch closer to our hopes and dreams with each passing day. Focus allows us to succeed over the long term, not in the short term. And, when someone lacks focus, they lack the ability to succeed in any area of their life.
Success in any area of life has a lot to do with your ability to focus on something so wholeheartedly that it becomes almost like an obsession. Find something positive that you want to achieve and focus all of your energy and your efforts on it, and you will be astounded how you’ll come closer and closer to that goal over time.
Success Law #9 – Commitment
As you can imagine, commitment is integral to success in any area of life. Giving up is not an option. When the going gets tough, that’s when you have to buckle down. No matter what you want to achieve in life, it’s not going to be easy, especially if that achievement is something that’s notable. Doing something worthwhile is going to be hard and living the life of your dreams isn’t simple, which is why so many people desire it.
Many people start out with goals in life only to give up a short while later. They want to make more money, lose weight, get a better job, have a more fulfilling relationship, and so on, but oftentimes they’re unwilling to do what it takes to attain that. But, for the person that can remain steadfast and committed, eventually, boundless possibilities await. Stay committed to your hopes and your dreams and don’t give up.
When J.K. Rowling was working a menial secretarial job while writing her first Harry Potter book, she certainly stayed committed. In fact, she was so committed to writing that book that she was doing so during her regular work hours, which caused her boss to fire her. Over the course of seven years she suffered through a divorce, the death of her mother, and living on government-assisted welfare, but she stayed committed. And we know how successful that book turned out for her.
Success Law #10 – Forgiveness
In life, we must learn to forgive. This is integral to success because if we can’t forgive, we can’t move on. No matter what the situation is, you can forgive but not necessarily forget. When you forgive, you let go of the hatred that holds us back and takes up our precious mental resources. So, you must learn to forgive.
As much as most people want to believe that succeeding in life only amounts to monetary success, it’s far more than that. And, at the heart of a person that’s successful, is a heart that’s pure and forgiving. You can’t achieve ay notable successes when you harbor anger and resentment in your soul and your spirit. Learn to let it go and live a more carefree and success-driven life.
Success Law #11 – Action
One of the biggest and most important ingredients to succeeding in life is action. Without action, there is no recipe for success. And, action most certainly is an integral ingredient in the successful life. You must learn to take action, no matter how small that action is. Small actions strung together result in remarkable transformations over time. Get accustomed to taking action in your life. Don’t allow little things to fester into bigger problems due to tendencies for procrastination.
Most of us in life are merely hindered by our inability to take action. We can’t succeed when we’re sitting stagnant and not moving closer towards our hopes and our dreams over time. One of the biggest ingredients of success is the ability to consistently take action day-in and day-out. If you don’t find yourself taking action, then you might either not want something bad enough or you’re stifled by bad habits that are holding you back.
Break the pattern by deciding what you want in life and why you really want it. Set some goals and move towards them each and every single day and learn how to manage your time. Eventually, you’ll succeed, but it won’t happen over night.
Success Law #12 – Be Present
Last but not least in the success laws is to be present. When we can be present we can learn to enjoy the journey. By living in the moment we can concentrate on the here-and-now and not worry so much about the past or fret over the future. What’s important is right now. If you can learn to be present you can begin to appreciate the ride.
Remember, succeeding in life isn’t just about the destination, it’s about the journey. The journey is what’s going to make us into better persons.
However, most people have difficulty with being present. If you fit this description, take up meditation or enroll in a yoga class. Learn the skills of how to control your breath and your thoughts so that they serve you in the present moment in time. By worrying and being anxious, you’re only going to materialize those worries into physical ailments due to the stress hormones that wreak havoc on our bodies. When you have mental anxieties, those anxieties can translate into physical illnesses.
What Does Success Mean to You?
I would love to hear what success means to you. Feel free to comment on this article below. If you feel like this article was an insightful read, please share it with your friends or loved ones.