How to be Successful Instantly. Every day.

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Do you consider yourself successful?

Most people don’t. On the contrary! We think about famous people who are very successful and rich and realize that we will probably never be that in this lifetime. At least not if we continue with our lives in the same was as today. But I’ve been thinking a lot about this and today I think of myself as pretty successful actually! This is how I did:
Almost all of us think of someone being successful if she or he has earned a lot of money and have bought nice houses, cars and other expensive things. But I don’t think there is a certain income level that makes someone successful. You can probably earn what I would consider an awful lot of money and you might compare yourself to someone who is earning more and still don’t think of yourself as successful.

On the other hand though, we can easily say “That party was truly a success!” Why was it a success? Probably because it turned out just the way we had wished for – or maybe even better! And the success didn’t have to do with any money. A meeting, a talk or a demonstration could be a success.

But how can a party be a success when there are no money involved? Because you can get other things than money as proof of your success! You can get a lot of hugs, laughs, people dancing and singing and being happy at your party, or messages afterward from people telling you what a success it was. You have to admit that those things are sometimes even better than money!

So events can be successful just because they turned out in a good way. Then we should be able to use the same definition for our own deeds, shouldn’t we? Everything that you do could then be a success, as long as it turns out as you wanted it to turn out – or better. That means that you actually have to think about what you do and what kind of outcome you want. How do you want your meeting with your friend at the café this afternoon to turn out? Do you want it to be funny, relaxing, private, or deep? Then afterwards you can ask yourself if it turned out that way. If it did – it was a success! Here you might have to think of your own feelings as the thing you get instead of money. Do you get a feeling of happiness, warmth, or maybe contentment? That’s good, isn’t it?

Now you can go even one step further and think about all the things you do in your life. Think about the small, everyday things, like going to work, cooking dinner, cleaning the house – did you do it in a successful way? Then be happy and allow yourself to feel successful about that! But also the more major things in your life, like your relationship with your partner or your mother, choice of job, or how you are treating yourself. First: How do you want it to be? Then: Are you being successful in doing it that way? If not: What can you change to make it more successful?

I promise, that this feeling of actually being successful at some things in your life every day will make you feel more content and happy!

(So I managed to write a blog post about success. I won’t get any money! Maybe a few positive comments?! But I am happy that I wrote more or less what I had set out to write. This might be a successful day!)

What is a good life?

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Today I got inspired by a talk by Arianna Huffington. She said that when we say we want a good life, we usually mean a successful life. And by successful we usually mean a life were we have gathered a good amount of money and power. This is quite a modern way to look at life. In ancient time, the Greeks used to talk about the four pillars to a good life: giving, wellbeing, wisdom and wonder. What a completely different way of looking at it!

What I find fascinating and sad is that most of us probably know that to be able to earn a lot of money and gain power, we have to be creative, make good decisions and see new solutions. But that is almost impossible to do if you are tired, stressed and out of balance. We know that too. But still we admire people who seem never to sleep, have hundreds of projects going at the same time and never being lazy, relaxing in the sofa the whole Sunday.

Arianna Huffington talks about an experiment where people got two choices: Either they should sit all alone, without any devices or anything else, in an empty room for a long time, or they should sit in the same room getting electric shocks. 47 % of the men preferred to have electric shocks instead of sitting alone with nothing to do! Isn’t that tragic! (Only 25 % of the women choose electric shocks, which is somewhat reassuring though!).

But how can this be!? How can it be hard to do the nice things we know we have to do, to be in balance? Is it cultural? It seems like more and more top leaders are confessing that they have been meditation for years, but never told anybody. If it would turn out that meditation or sleeping a lot or taking 30 minutes time for reflection in the middle of the day is what cool leaders do, will that change our view of how to look upon our work?

After more than four years of not working the way I used to do, I still feel a bit ashamed if I have not been “productive” enough every day! But I am getting better and better at thinking about my meditation or breathing in mindfulness as a productive thing to do. I can see how important the balance in my life is, not only for my harmony but also for my relations with my family and friends. Being more balanced also makes it easier to make decisions or find out what we truly want, because we have a better access to both logic and emotions when we aren’t constantly involved in something non-real happening in our minds or our cellphones! It will even prevent you from accidents – if you are in balance, you will see that stone or hole in the road and you will not fall. You will not fall, because you are totally in the present, alert about what you are doing, using all your senses here and now.

Just one last thing that Arianna Huffington also said that made me think; She commented on the fantastic technique we have today, that brings us this enormous amount of knowledge – how will we now gather that into wisdom? So much knowledge and so little wisdom …

I have read and heard about Arianna Huffington and her Huffington Post for years, but never actually heard her speak or understood what she is doing. Here you can see the 30 minute speech that I was inspired by today: Arianna Huffington – Reimagine. Everything.