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What Is Success? The Myth Of The Perfect Life

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The Perfect Life: Always Just Out Of Sight (photo by ilco)

We’re all on this quest to live a perfect life, and we even go so far as to write about our ideal perfect life and how that might go.

We say –

When my life is ideal I will have:

The House
The Car
The Wardrobe
The First-class Travel
The First-class Travel Experiences
The Stunning Kitchen
The Big Bank Account
The Portfolio or Investments
The Right Associations, or Schools for the Perfect Kids
The Cool Toys

And all the other Stuff I’ve yet to think of. Oh, and of course The Body.

So let’s say you get all of that, and more. Let’s say you write out a plan for your perfect life, and you even work out down to the $ how much money you would need to make each year in order to achieve that perfect life.

I did this, many time. The most recent occasion was early last month and it was around $326,000 per year I think, that I needed to make to live my ‘dream’ life. Who knew – all these people both expert and everyday are looking for happiness, there’s even entire research projects about it, people do their thesis’ on it, and yet little old me had the answer all along.

Happiness, it seems, can be bought for $326,000 per year. In the scheme of things, it’s really not that much is it? I don’t mean it’s easy – but it’s not a bad price for something people often spend their entire life searching for.

The funny thing is, I’ve done the ‘perfect life’ and the ‘perfect day’ exercise many times over the years. I’ve written about it before; mentored other people – possibly even you – about the power of doing this exercise. And yet – even though some of my earlier perfect life visualisations have in fact now come true (although I have changed my mind about point #1, I find I don’t really care anymore!), I still seem to be reaching for something else.

Do you ever feel that way, even once you do achieve goals you once thought were only a dream?

And if so, doesn’t that tell you something? It sure tells me something, although I have to admit it only just hit me today. Today, I sat down to write my little list of Things To Achieve and I realised I am SO sick and tired of having a checklist of Things That Must Be Done, Purchased Or Completed in order to feel good about myself; in order to live my perfect life.

So without really thinking about it, I wrote a different sort of list –

A different sort of list for today.

Today I want to … live in the moment. Move my business forward. Move my faith forward. Be a great mother. Live the life I want to live ‘one day’ but do it now. Laugh and experience joy. Learn something new. Help someone. Be kind. Show love. Use my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual self.

I look at this little list now and I think that if I lived that way every day I would probably also Achieve and Have some pretty amazing things along the way. But I also think that if I found those emotions and behaviours daily I would probably care less. Possibly I’d find my perfect life is really only a choice or two away anyway.

"success and you"

Living your dream stuff is great, but it doesn't guarantee you'll feel great. (photo by Auroqueiro)

what is success? the reality.

Of course you might wonder about the fact that I admit to having achieved earlier versions of my perfect life, versions I’d previously only dreamed about (and written down). Therefore, you might think, it’s definitely still an exercise worth doing.

And I think that’s true. Possibly it depends how much important each of us start to place on the material stuff. I definitely don’t mean it’s wrong to want material stuff, or even great wealth. I believe we are all designed to be abundant and to use that abundance for the good of our own lives as well as for others.

But I think it’s easy to do these little perfect life or perfect day exercises and forget to include the emotions, the ‘true’ essence of who we want to be. If I look back at what I’ve written in my own journalings on this, I have often included elements of the way I want to feel, the person I want to be, but it’s almost automatic to put the focus on the Stuff when you do a perfect life exercise.

Isn’t that what it’s all about, you wonder? Getting to a point where you can afford to have, be or do anything you choose?

Perhaps you can already afford more perfection and success than most people would ever dream of, if only you’d be willing to re-consider your definitions.

"success and you"

Is this success? And will you ever (really) get there? (photo by svilen 001)

success and you

Tell me. How much would you pay –

To feel joy every day?
To feel truly engaged with your partner and/or your kids or friends?
To be confident that you’re living with passion and purpose
To be able to live in the moment and stop worrying all the time?!
To be at peace with who you are?
To feel spiritually whole, and safe?

I’m going to say that if I did have endless funds available to me I’d pay a heck of a lot more than $326,000 per year to feel certain I’d have all of the above. It sounds like a pretty darn-good perfect life to me. Possibly I’d take it with or without The Dream Stuff; the stuff that once gained just causes us all to want MORE, to feel that our lives (and we ourselves) are still not good enough.

Of course I’d love to fulfil both lists. And I suspect that the more I focus on this new approach the less I might feel the need to add more ‘must haves’ to the old list.

At the moment, I feel almost as though I’m having an epipheny about the military-like precision with which I run my life. I say to other people over and over again that ‘the list’ (their list, my list, anyone’s list) will never be complete, that each of us will die with the list still not done, and that we simply must accept that. Now I’m wondering, why not just change the list?

I’ve lived according to lists of tasks for as long as I can remember. And I do get ahead, sure, but at the same time I’m always feeling as though there’s so much more to be done. As though it’s not enough. I’m not enough.

And that the perfect life is (still) just out of sight.

Well, I’m sick of it being just out of sight. Of knowing that when I reach it my idea of it will have changed and so it will still be out of my grasp.

It might just be time to change the rules about what would make a perfect life, and to realise in fact that ‘it’ can be now.

What do you think?

Life is Now. Press Play.

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