Money. Fame. Success.
Sounds great, right?
In today’s society we often define success by the amount of things you have, clothes you wear, car you drive, and the list goes on. In essence, we have come to equate success with ‘stuff’. Using such a definition, one can quickly become frustrated with a growing sense of ‘unsuccess’, as no matter how many things you desperately try to accumulate, someone out there will always have more.
I am here to flip the entire definition of ‘success’ upside down. Success is not about stuff. Rather, I assert that success is completely the opposite; the amount that you do and share with OTHERS, not yourself.
Career In STEM is here to help you on the path to your dream STEM career, that is true. But no amount of resources, training, or education can ever make you a good person, which should be everyone’s ultimate career goal. Similarly, no amount of money, fame, or ‘stuff’ can make you happy. One can simply look at the latest headlines each month, as there is an endless supply of actors, starlets, and other celebrities – people who seemingly have it all – who are so unhappy that they resort to drastically destructive measures.
A new definition of success is needed, and here is mine:
Success is measured by the degree to which you help others.
So how can one begin on the path to success? Here’s how to become successful, and become a better person, in just one week:
Make Their Day MONDAY
Think of someone, and make their day!
What It Is: Who’s day can you make today? Start the week off with a bang with Make Their Day Monday. Begin today’s mission by identifying someone in your life whose day you can make. Did someone in your family recently get sick or hurt? Make their day! Do you have an elderly neighbor that could use some help with yardwork? Make their day! Do you know a new mom who could use a ready-made meal as she tries to juggle her new family life? Make their day! Think of someone in your life who could use a little boost, then set out to make their day brighter.
Try It TUESDAY
Do something you have never done before!
What It Is: Part of becoming a better person is constantly pushing yourself outside your comfort zone to try and explore new things. On Try It Tuesday, do one thing that you have never do before. It can be something crazy like sky diving, but it can also be simple yet profound – cold call a prospective employer, visit a nearby nursing home, try Vietnamese food – just get out there and try it!
Bring someone’s dreams to life!
What It Is: Wishes do come true, and today is the day! Does your little cousin wish he could be Spiderman? Take him to the local park and look for real spiders. Do you have a friend that desperately misses a loved one, and wishes they could see them? Find a simple picture with that person and frame it as a small gift. Wishes Wednesday is challenging, but may also hold potential of bearing the most ‘success’. To truly understand the wishes of someone else, you must be a very good listener, deeply attuned to what someone is ‘saying’, even if it may not be obvious. In other words, you need to be good at reading in between the lines to read the heart of others. This is perhaps the greatest glimpse of success – imagine if everyone in this world were walking around trying to determine each others’ wishes and working earnestly to help them come true? What a wonderful world it would be, and how rich in success your life would be!
Thank You THURSDAY
Say thank you to those we often forget!
What It Is: Today, make a conscious decision to think of and say thank you to ‘necessary people’ – people who we depend on every day but who often go unnoticed and un-thanked. For examples the mailman, the librarian, your doctor, a favorite teacher (past or present), the bus driver, your favorite local waitress, etc. Say thank you to these necessary people for everything they do to help you, and let them know you appreciate them. You can express your gratitude with a simple yet heartfelt word of thanks, a handmade card or baked treat, a dollar store surprise bag, or whatever else you can think of! Today, make it a point to recognize and say thank you to those who deserve it but don’t always get to hear it.
Make the future a better place, today!
What It Is: As Benjamin Franklin said, ““If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. On Future Friday, work to make the future a better place for yourself, your community, and the world. Is there a class that you have been wanting to take? Join today and learn a new skill for the future! Could your town use a bit of spring cleaning? Gather your friends and spend an hour picking up trash along the river, then have a picnic. Do you have an idea brewing in your head to solve one of the world’s biggest problems? Tell someone and bring it to life! The success of the future depends on what you do today, so get out there and get going!
While many ideas and examples have been provided in this post, you will truly become a better person when you think about these ideas, apply them to your own life, and then take action. And that my friends is true success 🙂