There are so many different definitions of success, at least as many humans there are on this planet. However, the one that is well-spread the most certainly involves earning money in order to survive. Surviving…such a powerful and yet horrible world. What is the point of living a life you have to survive in? It is quite normal for a person to be unhappy, stressed, anxious & even a little depressed when having to survive! I know that this aching definition and fixity actually come from our society’s evolution and is now embedded into what seems to be a very tricky web.
Let’s start off all together, by picturing life as a vehicle for blooming and thriving, and with “success” being synonymous of joy, abundance and happiness…
Before reading those lines, I really want you to understand that I am not claiming to have the keys for fabulous success and genuine happiness. After the deep introspection I made for myself, the Yoga Teacher Training I did this summer, as well as analysing people around me (+ reading a extraordinary article on The Huffington Post about « Happy People »), I just want to share with you all the things that are essential for me to cultivate to be fulfilled and that I feel like being crucial for others as well…Therefore, successfully happy people…
1. See the glass half full and certainly not half empty.
The first key to one’s success and probably the easiest one to obtain is seeing things that one has instead of focusing her attention on what one does not have. That seems a bit odd to say but it truly is magical, and I actually learnt that during my teacher training. Acknowledging that what one’s doing is great, that one has given her best, that on all the things one had to master/do/find/achieve, most of these have been…these are the simple mindsets to have to feel braver, stronger and brighter.
If you ever feel that you’re focusing on the lack, take a step back and rethink the situation. Set your mind on what you have at that point or what you’re aiming at, and that will make the difference in your rush to success.
2. Are always positive, no matter what they’re enduring.
What I’ve learnt from my illness and what I am successfully applying in a day-to-day basis is to see bad things from the bright side. There’s nothing like taking the best out of sadness or not being crushed after being disappointed. It is very hard to stay positive in a world that is full of dreadful events, unhappy and anxious people, and frightening projection of our future world; but I promise you that by taking a step forward, lightening up from the inside and brightening the earth with your small but radiant inner light, you will make the difference.
I cannot give you any live example but still have that strong experience; regarding my anorexia, I now see it as blessing, and not as a curse, because if I had not taken this path, I would never have become the happy person I am today.
3. Are open-minded, eager to learn & motivated.
Successful people are open to new ideas; they listen, take inspiration from others and cultivate what we could call their “smartness”. These people really listen to others’ points of view and thoughts, even though they seem not to be sharing them in the first place; they know, deep down, that there’s always something to learn from everybody, no matter their political belief, nationality, age, size or gender (well, this is my feminist side talking!). They feel joy achieving something but do not do it because they are afraid of the negative consequences of their inaction. In a nutshell, they are moving towards what they really want instead of running away from what they don’t!
I am not sure how what kind of tip I could give you to develop that…if you’re still unsure about this point, the one that comes to my mind is: “Shake yourself up and move, life is short my friend, and we’re in the 21st century now!”
4. Are self-confident & aware of their inner beauty.
This is not to be mixed up with being vain or egocentric, not at all. This is rather about being self-aware, knowing one’s passions, flaws, qualities… Having faith in one’s own capabilities and powers. Once you get there, you’ll see that achieving great things and goals that you’re proud is going to be so much easier and rewarding. And if there’s anyone standing in your way or criticising you, it is not going to matter for you to reach that goal. And remember this: it’s good to be a dreamer, but you got to become a doer!
What really helps from a physical and then mental point of view: Standing tall, with your feet hip-distance apart, arms wide open and chest up and bumped, for about two minutes. You’ll feel strong, resourceful and confident, ready to kick some asses!
5. Take good care of what they eat.
This might actually be one of the easiest as well, it is just the first step that is hard. Integrating a little health in one’s life is such an easy thing, especially nowadays. Start by cutting off junk food and processed sugars but even more importantly, EAT MORE PLANTS! Vegetables, whole grains, pulses, fruits, natural sugars, nuts…the list is endless and full of so much goodness and colours, it would be hard to resist. And you’ll see the changes directly: no digestion caused fatigue, no guilt after some excesses, a whole lot of energy and so much more. I am not saying that my way of eating will make everyone better off, but successful and happy people do not choose their food by default, but rather because they feel good with it and so does their organisms!
6. Only look back to see how far they went.
What really is important when willing to create that space for happiness and success to happen in one’s life is not to focus on the past. Once able to let things go and not to have any regret whatsoever, working on the present to influence the future is just going to be a piece of cake. Successful people focus on their creation and not on the things that lead to it.
Try to set your mind on your goal, whether this is a skill you want to hone, or a special project you’ve fancied for a long time, focus all your time, energy and thoughts on it and feel what it’s like to get closer from achieving something that is important to you.
7. Focus on building strong and everlasting relationships.
Successful people know that by binding to others, they will get stronger and reach another level of happiness. There is a certain harmony in the human development that may only be achieved by creating relationships to others; that makes people not only more powerful, but more confident, open, reliable and sparkling, which will lead others to feel comfortable in their presence. And comfort actually is the key to someone’s trust, which could definitely lead to being successful and happy!
8. Challenge their preconceived notions.
I would add to this that they believe in the power of change. People usually stay in the same posture or keep their job/current situation as it is because they are afraid or do not know what else to do. And these people usually are unhappy in their job. And indeed someone’s work might not be her passion; therefore, she will create space for creativity and imagination, take time to nourish herself from many other things, fight against our society’s stereotypes and ultimately, if brave, after figuring out what she wanted, start creating it.
9. Focus their attention on the physical and mental health.
For successful and happy people, health actually is their wealth. As our body is the vehicle for life, the envelope that enables us to enjoy the most beautiful gift of all (that sounds weird, yogic and philosophical but it is so true in the end…), it has to be worshiped and taken good care of. Moreover, as physical and mental limitations, like diseases or illnesses, are not preventing them from evolving; instead, they are taking action to change them and to go beyond, without defining themselves by these.
It is essential to take care of oneself, one way or another, by incorporating a few healthy rituals for example (taking the stairs instead of the elevator, drinking more water, working out or doing an activity that pleases one, connecting with yourself or others, et. c.)
10. Believe that abundance is measured from what one gives and not from what one collects.
Successfully happy people usually love sharing their gifts and talents; they do not want to keep anything for themselves but rather have everyone else happy as well. Whether this is by volunteering, supporting someone you know or a complete stranger, loving people or helping them, sharing truly is the key to inner peace, richness and happiness. Being grateful to others and to ourselves also is a way to evolve and be a better person. Therefore, by cultivating gratitude and sharing their wealth, these people will not only feel brighter but they will also shift their mindset, feeling like what they could achieve is endless and what they want to achieve is clearer.
I strongly believe the first step before sharing is to be grateful for the gift of life, for all those abilities we have but usually take for granted. And then, once we’ve realised how lucky we are, it will also be easier to be compassionate and share our abundance with others.