how to be successful

How to Be Successful and Not Regret It

These past months I started avoiding to write and read advice on how to be successful. It’s not uncommon to find advice saying that reading a multitude of books like Bill Gates and Elon Musk is a must habit to form to achieve success. Or that waking up early is a way to success like Apple CEO Tim Cook and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

In truth, I’ve grown to loathe the word success.

The Habits of the Successful

I’m not going to deny that I love reading books which is the main reason why I aspire to be a writer. I also think waking up early is a great productivity tool because for me as a mother, this is the only time I can do something for myself (like working on this blog).

But doing these things does not guarantee success.

If you have children, it’s probably challenging for you to find time to read as many books as you would like. I’m certain you can relate when I say that it’s hard to juggle our works, to care for our families and to pursue our dreams, all at the same time.

When was the last time you had a good rest? When you’re exhausted, waking up at 4 am would be a miracle.

Not only that, it seems that these articles imply that you’re only successful if you’re a millionaire. That success can be narrowly defined as a person who has amassed wealth far beyond the majority of the human population. Is this what success is all about?

How Not to Regret Being Successful

The Definition of Success

In my post Lessons I Learned on Failure from Burning Toasts, I talked about how you control your definition of success and how you regard your experiences. In the strictest sense of the word, success is defined as:

success n. favorable or desired outcome; also: the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence”

Such outcomes, as well as the level of wealth and eminence, are all subjective.

Success is subjective and can only be defined by you.

Your past and your present are valuable.  Let these be your guide on the kind of outcome you aim to achieve. Don’t let anybody, including me, tell you what a successful life looks like. 

You will not regret being successful if your success is defined by you.

Be True to Yourself

Bonnie Ware, a palliative care nurse in Australia, documented the regrets shared with her by her patients who were at the end of their lives. The following are their top five regrets:

“#1 I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

#2 I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

#3 I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

#4 I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

#5 I wish that I had let myself be happier.”

As you reflect on what success means to you, I hope that you keep in mind #1.

As you work on achieving your desired outcomes, there’s a chance that you’ll reach a point where you’ll face a dilemma of whether you should be true to yourself or to do what is expected of you (even if it’s against your values and principles). When that time comes, I urge you keep to your values and principles.

Be true to yourself and you will not regret your success.

how to be successful

Sources:

“Success.” Merriam-Webster, 26 May. 2018, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/success.

“Top five regrets of the dying.” The Guardian, 01 Feb. 2012, www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying.

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6 comments On How to Be Successful and Not Regret It

  • These are very wise words. I admit that the word success tends to make me uneasy. I have succeeded in most things I set out to accomplish but the idea that success is basically making lots of money doesn’t apply to me and therefore, no one, myself included, doesn’t really see me as successful. I think we need to redefine the word. Then set out to expand our mentality related to this word. That would be a great start. This gives me sort of an idea for a blog post. I’ll have to think on what you’ve said though. Thanks so much for the advice:)

    • Hello,

      I’m glad that this post has inspired you. What we think about our own achievements is most important. If success for us is different to how others define success, that’s okay. There’s now two of us who thinks that success doesn’t only mean fame and wealth. I’m with you, let’s expand our mentality about this.

      Best,
      Sigrid

  • I am so sorry I am actually coming from #ABloggingGoodTime. I put the wrong linky at the end of my comment. It’s early morning. Need more coffee LOL

  • Wise words on all counts! A great read #ablogginggoodtime

I would love to hear your thoughts!

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