To Be Successful

By Chris Chittenden

“Success is a journey, not a destination.”

… Ben Sweetland, Author

For human beings, the process of living has us always in the experience of now, yet through language we are also able to speak to a past and a future. Indeed our capacity to consider a past, present and future is so much part of the human condition that it is very easy to forget we do it. Our orientation to the future sets up expectations of how we want our world to be which often manifests itself as our goals and desires in life and generates an impetus to create the future to which we aspire. This drive into the future has led human beings to create highly complex societies and have the most impact of all creatures on the planet.

Our temporal nature also can lead us to focus on success as something to be achieved in the future. At one time or another, most people will consider what it means to be successful in life. In the modern world, many people will define success in terms of what they want to possess or what they to achieve in the future. In doing so, it is easy to consider success as something always out in front of us rather than something that exists for us now. Yet it is important for us to feel successful in life to feel good about ourselves. Our self-esteem is tied up in the value we see in ourselves. Yet if we always see our success waiting for us in the future what does that mean about how we feel about ourselves now?

Take a moment and consider the simple question of “how successful do you feel now?” I would expect that most people reading this would feel reasonably successful when they consider where they are at in life. This is not to say that we cannot aspire to something in the future. If we do as Ben Sweetland suggests and consider success as a journey rather than a destination, perhaps we could learn to better value what we achieve each day rather than constantly striving for success in the future. Who knows we may feel better about who we are.

Therefore, we invite you to live in the question, “How successful do I feel today?”

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© 2008 Chris Chittenden