When I speak to a group, or even in a private conversation, I’m aware that I am talking to someone that already enjoys a level of success. Simply living in the United States represents a certain level of success. Everyone reading this has access to a computer and the Internet. If you have that, it’s pretty much a guarantee you have electricity. Chances are pretty high that you have access to hot and cold running water, television, very likely a mobile phone and a host of other Daily Miracles. There are billions of people on this planet for whom the life of any American represents an incredible level of success and affluence.
Most people think in terms of money as a way of keeping score, and I often talk with people who make more money than me. Then again, I know people who have multiples of my income but less wealth, and people who have more wealth and almost no income. Wealth, by the way, is something you buy. Just having money does not make you wealthy; a newborn baby has no money, but can be born wealthy. Wealth being a relative thing, you can argue that anybody born in the U.S. is born wealthy when compared to much of the rest of the world.
So, the problem with just counting money as a measure of success is that it does not represent what really matters, which is your personal level of happiness and satisfaction. I see very rich, very wealthy individuals that are obviously chronically unhealthy. I would not give up my health, for instance, for their money. I’m sure you can easily make your own list of things you would not exchange for more money. Money, of course, isn’t everything. Perhaps it makes more sense to think of success in terms of your level of happiness.
In a previous post I made a reference to a rough time when I sat down and spent three days just writing out my future (this concept is important enough that I gave Predicting the Future it’s own link on the home page). What is important to note is that I paid very close attention and gave careful thought to all aspects of my life. Sure, I needed money – that in and of itself would solve a whole mess of other problems, which is why we attach so much importance to it. However, in addition to needing money, at the time I also needed a car, which is entirely separate. My personal life was a shambles; money all by itself was not going to fix that problem. I was as unhealthy as I had ever been in my life. I had children that could use a whole lot more help than I was able to provide. All of these things and more needed attention.
In terms of absolute importance, money actually doesn’t rank very high. It is not an end, it’s a means to an end. Having your health is important, your family is important. Perhaps a particular achievement or accomplishment is important. When you “Cast a Spell for Success“, what is most important is that you figure out what is really most important, and craft your future around that.
Those are the things that matter, and if money is required to accomplish those goals, the money is going to be there.
So, whenever you hear me talk about Success, I’m not talking about money, fame, or fortune. I’m really talking about Happiness.