Success and rest don’t sleep together. – Russian Proverb
What does that mean?
When we think of successful people, we often think of their lives of leisure. The act of achieving success gives one the chance to relax and take it easy.
But how true is that, really? How many ‘successful’ people do you see resting? They might take a fantastic, and long, vacation from time to time, but then what?
Whether it’s Hollywood stars, business tycoons or famous authors, they go back to it, whatever their ‘it’ may be. They might even change it up and try something new.
But you won’t find them resting for very long. Success may sleep from time to time, but it rarely rests. Objects in motion compared to objects at rest. Which is which, do you think?
Why is working towards success important?
This brings up the question of what, exactly, is success to you? How do you define it? What would success look like to you? If it involves getting to a point where you sit or rest for the rest of your life, is that really success?
Who would object to a vacation lasting several months? But then what?
Back to work. While that term usually has negative connotations, I use it in place of the word effort or taking action. If you really hate the word ‘work’ just use something else, something which inspires you. What I have found is that real success comes when you are doing something you love.
Think about that. Doing something you love to do, and never thinking of it as work. Wouldn’t that be a good definition of personal success and happy living? Not everything you want to do will pay the bills, so sometimes you have to have a job to be able to be successful elsewhere in your life.
But in no case are you successful when all you do is rest, unless you set your sights really low. You can do better than that, you can find things you do, and probably are fairly good at it too. This is why, in my opinion, it is very important to work towards success, however you define the word.
Where can I apply this in my life?
If you don’t know what success means to you, I would suggest you take a little time and think about it. I believe that it is a journey, not a destination. What do you do once you have ‘arrived’ whatever that means to you? Take a moment and let that roll around in your head.
You’ll probably find something else to do, right? So working towards success is what you will continue to do for the rest of your life. Your definition of of it will likely change over time. First you want to make money for security and for toys. Later, you might look towards helping others or starting a family.
Success will come in as many forms as you have definitions. You can be successful financially, a successful member of a family, have a successful business and be successful in helping others, right? But you are always working towards it, and if you do it correctly, it’s rarely work. And it brings you satisfaction.
Success is partly motivation and partly action. It doesn’t have to mean 60 hour weeks until you have a stroke or heart attack. But neither does it mean doing nothing. Somewhere between lies the best path for you. I define success as helping people, which this blog does from time to time. And it’s why I still do it.
Lately, I’ve been working at a job which is a good job, and it pays the bills, but I keep getting the feeling that it isn’t really what I personally need to do. I’m financially successful, but not personally successful. And I am in the process of trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up.
What that will be, who knows. In the meantime, I have been successful with the blog by working quite a bit. Started out every day, now it’s twice a week, but I’m still helping people, and that makes me feel good. I’m also fairly successful as a parent, based on how well I think my kids are doing.
It might be useful for you to grab some paper and a writing implement and make a list of all the different things you do which are part of your success. Think about all the different things you do in your life, or have done in the past. What was success to you last year, five years ago, ten or more years ago?
Life moves quickly. How long ago was your last birthday? The one before that? Time will slip away from you if you don’t start using it to your advantage. If you can define success, then you can stop resting, and start working towards success. And keep refining what success means to you, and keep trying new things.
Success doesn’t come from resting, on your laurels or anything else. What will you do today to get started towards something you define as success?