Sabtu, 17 April 2010

Redefining Success

Success has traditionally been defined in terms of 1) beating others in some aspect of life, or 2) getting everything you desire. These definitions of success are problematic. They contain some inherent problems.

In the first definition, success is defined as winning life's races. It means that for each person winning, there must be one or more losing. Therefore, life can be described as a zero sum game. This is a very cruel situation, since it puts each of us in direct competition with each other. Others are enemies, or at least competitors, with some potential to destroy our chance of success, or, in contrast, to be conquered by us.

The second definition has a different problem. Defining success as getting, or, using jargon from "The Secret", manifesting all your desires, encourages an unrealistic demand for the fulfillment of unrestrained desires. It is self-centered and encourages the wasting of precious resources. The cost to humanity is enormous.

For this reason, we need a new definition of success. Here I want to suggest a new definition of success: making a contribution to humanity. In this definition, a successful person is a person who contributes to the improvement of human affairs. This definition encourages meaningful involvement in purposeful endeavour to improve humanity. This definition also enables each and every person to achieve success without hindering or even reducing the chance of others to become successful. Instead, someone’s success may help others to achieve similar success. For instance, Associated Content's efforts to help others to achieve success will ultimately bring success to AS. In addition, this definition will encourage individuals to improve the social as well as natural environment.

Defining success as making a contribution to humanity opens the possibility of each and every person achieving success, since each person can make contributions in countless ways. For example, some people can contribute by creating new products or inventing new ways of doing things. Others can contribute by supporting those who create or invent new products or new technologies. Some people can contribute to science, others contribute to the world's economy, and still others contribute to world peace. Some people can contribute to the physical welfare of others. Some people can contribute to the socio-economical welfare of others. Still other can contribute to the psychological and spiritual welfare of others. Some people can contribute their energy, others contribute their time, others contribute ideas, and still others contribute their resources. There is no limit to this.

Defining success as making a contribution to humanity will require us to redefine our own definition of success. Each of us can, and need, to define success in our own terms. What is it that I want to contribute? In what areas of life do I want to focus my efforts? How will I best use my abilities and talents to obtain the most significant results?

As mentioned above, defining success as making a contribution to humanity will help improve our world.

What a wonderful world it will be.