man in front of blue wall

How the Urge to Succeed Can Lead to a Barren Life


Sober Recovery Expert Author

man in front of blue wall

Can you feel the earth spinning? I’d bet that you cannot, yet it’s spinning quite fast. Likewise, many people’s lives are spinning out of control, but they do not feel that’s the case at all. Running from here to there doing a hundred things a day feels normal to them and many feel successful. Yet, at the same time, many feel tired, frustrated, overly busy, or even thirsty for a head change at the end of each day.

Definition of Success

There are various definitions of success and one is not necessarily better than another, but generally a sense of accomplishment comes along with the definition. Success for one person might be graduating college and getting a job in their field. For another person it might mean having a certain amount of money in savings. For someone else it might mean having a beautiful home, spouse, kids, and a family dog.

Seeking success can be stressful, but that shouldn't deter you from pursuing a better life.

While having success in mind can be beneficial because it prompts people to create goals and action plans to go after those goals, it can also create some problems at times. When there is so much emphasis put on being successful and negative emotions start to arise when striving for such occur, then it can become harmful to your life.

What is Success?

Success is really a concept that can be experienced as a positive emotion. So success for you can look entirely different than success for your neighbor. You might think success is living a life free from alcohol and drugs and your neighbor might think success if having a spouse and kids. Both are success! It depends on what is valued in a person’s life.

The pursuit of success can become a problem when people get all stressed out and unhappy in pursuit of success. The journey ought to be enjoyable each day and not put off until something happens. Success could be defined as enjoying where you are on the way to where you are going. This way you are always successful inside, which can make for a pretty happy life.

“Beware the Barrenness of a Busy Life”

It’s alright to be busy at times, but to be busy all the time can harm you. There is a quote that says, “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” What this means is that just because you are busy does not mean you are really being productive or successful. You could be running around doing all sorts of things, but still feel lousy deep inside. When you get still and quiet, you feel that lousy feeling, so you figure you better get busy doing something so you’ll feel better. This is a tough cycle, because doing things doesn’t make you happy or successful; it’s an inner thing. When you FEEL successful or happy, you ARE successful and happy.

How to be Successful

You can begin your journey of success today by making a decision to feel successful right now no matter what is going on in your life. Enjoy where you are right now with no judgments. Accept who you are right now with no judgments. Does this mean you aren’t reaching for goals? No. It just means you are determined to enjoy the journey. See, when you get to the end of the horizon, another horizon pops up. It’s a lifelong journey, so enjoy the ins and outs of it.

If you’re the type of person that thinks, “I’ll be happy or successful when this happens…” then it’s time to retrain your brain into a different type of thinking. Determine to be successful and happy right now. When those things happen, rejoice and offer gratitude and keep it moving. If those things don’t happen, you won’t have lost anything because you were practicing happy thoughts and feelings anyway.

Create a life you love one day at a time as best as you can. Be easy on yourself and make a commitment to enjoy the journey each day. You are worthy of a life of peace, joy, and freedom. Receive it!

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