Make The World A Better Place One Person At A Time
People need to feel wanted, we need it from our spouses, our family, friends and peers. Some need it more than others, but as a general rule people have an innate yearning for some level of personal confirmation. Much of what we do in life is driven by this desire, if you examine the motivation behind many of your actions you will begin to recognise a pattern. I believe our desire for personal validation has become so intertwined with modern consumer mindsets that most believe success is simply a measure of what we have in life, bigger houses, better cars mean we must be successful. The greater the external sources we have around us to endorse this believe the stronger it becomes and the more we associate "success" with the corroboative opinions of others. We seek this type of external substantiation daily on a subconscious level often being unaware we are doing so. Why did you pick those special jeans, those boots, that hair style, that car, house, boat, caravan.... getting the picture? Why did you work so hard to get the 6 figure job, that promotion with the better office and the great view.... why, why, why? Can you see that little validation monster insidiously lurking behind your every decision?
People are gregarious companionable creatures, we enjoy the company of others. Positive feelings of self worth are derived from the opinions and views that other people have of us. The risk here is that when we place a disproportionate importance on these opinions we are essentially allowing others to authenticate "success" for us through their eyes not our own. Of course not everything we do in life is driven by the need for external (or internal) validation, but more often than not our decisions gain weight, in one direction or another, based on the potential for this to happen. As a young man my choice of cars was always determined by what my mates would think of my new wheels, obviously to that end a V8 with wide tyres and a screaming exhaust became my vehicle of choice. When driving my hot V8 I felt successful, and the opinions of my mates gave me the reinforcement to believe this was so.... Ah how simple was life, but then I grew a conscience.
But we’re no longer trying simply to survive. The luxury and curse of our era is that we can do virtually anything we want with our lives.
Simply recognize that the more conscious and deliberate you can be about what success means for YOU, the more empowered you will be to pursue the path that’s true for you." - Taylor Jacobson
Success in it's self will have a different definition from person to person and it is our individual right to decide exactly what we call success and therefore the accomplishments we seek to achieve. For me, this is where the rubber really hits the road. When was the last time you evaluated your "success" in life? When did you last ask yourself the question "what does success really mean to me" ?
My broader view of success is definitely still a work in progress, it was only recently that I began to see a bigger world wide picture, and how I should work that into my overall life plan. It's very easy, once you have found the freedom that minimalism can give, to then rest comfortably on your laurels, but this is not what minimalism is meant to be. Once your life is clear of all the junk consider the bigger picture and how you might seek to leave your mark on the world.
This post is not about suggesting anything specific, that's for you to decide, this post is simply about remembering when all is said and done there are still people around us everywhere that need our help. Never be too busy that you can't show love or give a helping hand. At the end of the article I noticed a comment from a reader, they summed the article by quoting a passage from Emerson, I would like to do the same.