My Definition Of Success

There are hundreds of keys to success. In my understanding, success is the ability to manifest your values in life.

It’s that simple.

Values, however, can vary greatly. They are not just some abstract ideas, and are more tangible than it may seem. A value is your understanding of what is important to your own self. For example, wealth, growth, family, self-actualization, serving others, etc.

People act on their values and beliefs. They set goals based on their values. They buy things based on their values. They choose hobbies and who to communicate with based on these same values. Besides, every single day gives an opportunity to realize values.

As already mentioned, values can be different, and this is totally OK. For example, my two guiding sets are the three values by Viktor Frankl (creation, perception, attitude), and the Indian four temples (material well-being, joy, public service, spiritual growth). In fact, these two approaches have much in common.

What is important, we have to continuously realize our values to be successful. It’s not something that just happens. It’s a never-ending process.

So what happens in the long run?

If we manage to adhere to our values and act on our beliefs, we make our lives meaningful.

To sum up, success is the ability to make one’s life meaningful via implementing his or her values.

One Cannot Change The Length Of His Life

But one can change the depth.

Leonardo Da Vinci, William Shakespeare, Albert Einstein, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Jobs and many more had 24 hours in a day like we have.

The only difference is that they used their time wisely. Their talents, perspiration and persistence multiplied by time brought the results we all know.

Yet an average man today prefers to spend his time in unproductive and meaningless activities.

I believe that successful men always use their time effectively. Proper time management is a key to success.

Only by managing our time wisely can we reach our goals, achieve self-actualization, and enjoy our lives to the fullest without regret.

They say time is money. Well, time is much more than money.

If you want to learn more about time management, feel free to consult my free training materials here.

Death Makes Life Meaningful

Quotation-Viktor-E-Frankl-life-meaning-Meetville-Quotes-194854The book Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl is a plentiful source of inspiration and optimism for every single day.

One of my favourite excerpts is the author’s reflections on the meaning of death.

Just as a reminder, the whole book is dedicated to the meaning of life. In this regard, V. Frankl argues that nothing can make life meaningless, even death.

Below is the Russian translation of the author’s quote.

Can the time limits of human life, that is the fact that man is mortal, make life meaningless?

How often we hear arguments that death makes life completely useless after all. That eventually all man’s creations are useless as long as they are destroyed by death. So does death really take away the sense of meaning from our life?

On the contrary!

For what would our life be if it were eternal? If we were immortal, we could easily postpone our every action for as long as we wanted. And it wouldn’t matter if we take the action now or not, as it can be equally done tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, or in a year, or in ten years.

In contrast, in the teeth of death – as our absolute and inevitable end in future, and as the limit of our capabilities – we ought to use the time available to us as effective as possible. We have no right to miss a single opportunity, the sum of which makes our life really full of meaning.

Thus it is not necessary to draw a distinction between life and death, for death is rather an integral part of life.

The passage above echoes with Carlos Castaneda’s “death as the only advisor that we have.”

Indeed, death itself is not scary.

What is really intimidating is facing your death empty-handed.

road

Other posts on Viktor Frank’s Man’s Search for Meaning:

Knowledge Vs. Wisdom
Heredity And Environment Vs. Will and Action

Be A Champion

The song “Hall Of Fame” by “The Script” is like a mantra for finding a purpose in life. Perhaps this is why it has over 160 million hits now on YouTube.

Somehow we feel intuitively that the essence of life is fulfilling your mission by finding a cause you love and dedicating yourself wholeheartedly to it.

This is one of the best songs ever.

Be students
Be teachers
Be politicians
Be preachers

Be believers
Be leaders
Be astronauts
Be champions
Be truth seekers

More Scary Than Death

I am not afraid to die.

Perhaps this sounds way too bold, stupid or banal. Yet this is true. I got rid of the fear of death (and believe everybody can do the same) once I have embraced two things.

First, everybody dies. This is one of the laws of life in the Universe.

And second, death is not the end, but a transformation. A caterpillar mutating into a butterfly does not really end its existence. Well, it does in a way, but not exactly.

Perhaps I am afraid to die in a stupid way, like in a car accident or something. But what really scares the pants off me is to die without fulfilling a meaningful purpose and using your potential.

And most people don’t succeed in this.

How many musicians are lost because their talents are not discovered? How many writers give up on their creative works because their books are not published? How many businesses close down because they can’t catch up with competitors? How many inventors pass their lives unnoticed because they fail to attract sponsors? How many world leaders are not developed because their voices are not heard?

These types of questions will never be answered because we will never know the truth. Yet apparently the truth sucks – most people fail to fulfill their mission. Those who do become great men.

If everybody used his potential to the fullest, each of the 8 billion human beings on Earth would be great. Each of us would be in the hall of fame.

What we have instead is a situation when roughly 5% of the world follow their calling and reach the life maximum, while the rest is busy with something else.

Is this sad? Or perhaps fair?

I don’t know. What I do know though is that the world would change drastically and would be a much better place to live in if everyone used his time in a meaningful way.

And our time is very limited.

So death is not a scary thing. A death after a useless life is.

What to do?

Rudyard Kipling and Steve Jobs gave some good pieces of advice on this:

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And — which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son.

Inspiration from Steve Jobs

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

– Steve Jobs