Ryan McLean : Slightly Unconventional

What Is Success? Part 2

Success is a big issue and something that a lot of people strive for and seek to obtain. Over the last few weeks I have been thinking a lot about success and what it means for me to be successful. The last year has been filled with failure after failure in my online business and it has left me with a sense of purposelessness and I definately do no feel successful.

When you are talking about success it is really important to note that there is no one definition of success. This is because every person you will ever meet has a different background, a different life and different hopes and aspirations for their future. Because of this difference success will be different depending on the person.

Lets look at an example. I am a Christian and a believer in God, therefore part of me being successful will involve serving God and bringing glory to him. I may do this through helping people, through preaching, through building a big business and giving money to the church or to orphanages, but ultimately a factor of my success will be my spirituality and how well I have served and honored God. Then on the other hand you may have a Muslim, who’s success will be partly defined by serving his or her God Allah. My definition of success will look different to the Muslim’s definition of success because we are serving different Gods.

I have also come to believe that success is not something that you have or achieve but it is a state of mind, or an emotion. If you look hard enough you will be able to find someone who at first appears to be extremely successful. They will have a great job, a fast car, a beautiful wife and lovely kids and who earns more money than they know what to do with, yet they are depressed and continually feel like they are insignificant and that they are a failure.

It is not the ‘stuff’ that defines your success but rather it is the feeling you have that defines whether or not you are successful. You can have no money and still feel successful because you may feel like you have contributed something great to the world. You may be overweight and underpaid and feel successful because you have a great relationship with your family and your friends and you love your life.

Success is not a collection of tangible goods, it is an emotion.

Let me demonstrate this further by asking you how do you know if you are successful? The only way of truely knowing you are successful is feeling that you are successful. If you feel you are successful then you are successful, and if you feel that you are not successful then ultimately when it comes to your life you are not successful.

If you read or listen to anyone’s definition of success or fulfillment you will find that everyone labels different things that your will require in order to be successful. I was just listening to Tony Robbins to a talk today and he said that there are 6 things that everyone looks for in their life to be successful. Those are Certainty, Uncertainty, Significant, Connection/Love, Growth and to Contribute Beyond Ourselves. I believe these all to be true, but 6 things is just too many to remember 😉

Foundational Beliefs and Goals

Within every person are some foundational beliefs and goals that need to be met for that person to feel successful. For me one of my foundational beliefs and goals is to have a loving family, if I become a successful businessman or even have success in ministry and help a lot of people, if I don’t have a loving family I know that I will consider myself unsuccessful.

So in order to feel successful and be successful you need to meet your foundational beliefs and goals, because if you fail to meet them you will constantly feel unsuccessful.

Some people set their beliefs and goals too high and some people have just missed their opportunity to fulfill these foundational beliefs and goals. Tony Robbins talks about a 61 year old lady who so desired to have a loving family and children, but she has now be married twice and has no kids, and she can no longer meet that belief or goal.

In this case the only thing you can do is change your beliefs and goals so that they match up with what is realistic to achieve.

So you either need to meet your foundational beliefs and goals in order to feel successful, or you need to change them so they can be met.

Self Esteem

Another thing that you must have in order to be successful is self esteem. Remember how I said that success can only be defined by whether or not you feel successful? Well if you have little or no self esteem you will never feel good about yourself and thus will never feel successful.

Now I don’t know a lot about self esteem and feeling good about yourself so unfortunately I cannot go into a lot of detail, but what I do know is that your self esteem is your sole responsibility. No one else can determine my self esteem unless I let me. I determine my own self esteem by deciding how I feel about myself.

My Journey

The real reason I am discussing success is because I have been seriously thinking a lot about what I want to do with my life and what my next step should be. I did really well in High School, I went on to do 2 and a half years of bible college, at first I wanted to be a pastor but now the thought of doing that makes me feel yuk inside because of some bad experiences I have had. So I then thought that I would find success through making money online. Over the last 12 months I have been hoping to make money online but I have failed at all my attempts.

I am a strong believers in doing what you are passionate about and doing things purposefully. The truth of the matter is that I was trying to make money online to meet my own needs and to feel good about myself, but because I had no higher purpose I lost the passion for it and ultimately failed at it.

In my mind all I wanted to do was make money online and I wasn’t thinking about doing anything else, so when that failed I was left with nothing to do and no direction to head in. This rarely happens to me as I usually know what I want and am working towards getting it…but in this instance I didn’t know where I wanted to be so I had no way of going anywhere. 

So I have been thinking and talking to God, and I do my best thinking and talking to the Big Man in the shower, and the other day as I was in the shower talking to God I felt God ask me what I can contribute to the church that no one else can. My first thought was finances and God said instantly to me that anyone can create finance for the church and that he is God and if he needed finance he could get it. So he asked me what can I do that God himself cannot do and I immediately thought about communication and helping people.

God can talk to people through his bible and through speaking to them as they open up to him, but I have noticed in my life a lot of people who’s lives have been such that a long term connection with God has been near impossible. I have worked with boys who have had messed up families and even more messed up friends and a lifestyle that does everything it can to take them away from God. I have also experienced people who have been burnt by the church in some way and they left the church and left God.

I started getting a passion to help these two types of people. I want to help the people who’s lifestyle gets in the way of their desire to connect with God and people who have been burnt by the church, but who still love God and want to maintain a relationship with Him.

Before I decided that I wanted to go to bible college I originally wanted to go to university to study psychology. I have always had a fairly good understanding of people and I have always had an interest and desire in helping people.

I think it is extremely amusing that what I wanted to do before I was a Christian is now coming back around full circle. I am now seriously considering going to university and studying psychology so that I can train myself to help the people that I want to help.

I am going to take some time and decide for certain that this is what I want to do (because it is a good 4-6 years of studying that I am looking at doing), and if I begin studying then I will begin in March of 2010.

So it is an exciting time for me, and I would not have had this desire and this direction if I had not seriously thought about what success is and what success means to me.

10 responses to “What Is Success? Part 2”

  1. Car hire says:

    Its a very -2 nice article I had read your last one that was also very good. I became a very big fan of you seance of humor. Its my favorite blog where i visit most.thanks

    • ryan says:

      Thankyou very much for your compliment.
      I try and be as real as possible and as much me as possible. I learnt long ago that I don’t want to try and ‘fake it to make it’.
      Glad you like my blog 😉

  2. Casey says:

    good one mate.

  3. Sherry says:

    wow I feel like sometimes not visit your blog, love the makeover :). Always learning about success. 🙂

  4. ajoy kumar says:

    I read your post and relished everything you had to say about success. For a person so young in age, you seem to have remarkable faith, insight and wisdom. Will come back for more.

  5. Car hire says:

    I read your post and relished everything you had to say about success. For a person so young in age.

  6. Sherry says:

    I agree that success is emotion and people can easily envy of your success.

  7. Car hire says:

    Relished everything you had to say about success. For a person so young in age, you seem to have remarkable faith, insight and wisdom. Will come back for more.

  8. Usually, the more you give to others, the more happiness you’ll have in your life. Now, money certainly gives people options, opens doors, and builds opportunities, but if it doesn’t make you happy or help you produce “something” for others.

  9. I think success is when a person does something they set out to do and actually finishes it with a nice ending. I perceive success as something that can be finished and helps you in life.

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