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How Are You Defining Success?

Melli O'Brien



Melli O'Brien



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How Are You Defining Success?

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

Today I'd like to explore how

we define success in our lives.

And, you know, this is really important

these days to look out for ourselves

because our culture and the world

around us hold material success

and individual achievement, and

special-ness as the highest values.

It's an idea that's promoted

to us constantly through

the media and advertising.

And the problem with that is that

research from the last decade shows

that people whose value center around

material success actually tend to

be less happy and more likely to

experience anxiety, depression, low

self-esteem and problems with intimacy.

And this is regardless of

age, income or culture.

So when we strive to acquire

status wealth and achievement in

an attempt to gain happiness, in

fact, we might be pushing it away.

So in his book, The High Price of

Materialism, psychologist and researcher,

Tim Kasser shows that materialistic

values actually undermine our wellbeing

as they perpetuate feelings of insecurity,

weaken the ties that connect us as a

community and make us feel less free.

My personal story.

My uncle Jeff is one of the

happiest people I've ever known.

He's lived a simple life in harmony with

a couple of acres of land he lived on.

He grew much of his own food, took care

of his neighbors and friends and did

kind deeds when no one was looking,

except me from the back of the car.

He was never ambitious in a worldly

sense and really had no interest

in standing out or amassing wealth.

He valued sustainability, contentment

and kindness, and lived a really

quiet and yet fully rich life.

Although he was sometimes criticized

for his choice to live that way,

he never wavered from his own

path and lived a very happy life.

That was his life.

Now, what about ours?

What about yours?

So there's nothing wrong with having

nice things or achieving big goals.

There's nothing wrong with

living simply or humbly either.

What is important is that the

goals and values that you have are

focused on truly what's important

to you and what leads you to living

a more happy and meaningful life.

My invitation to all of us today is

to take a step back and think about

what success truly means to us, not

what anyone else tells us, but what

we truly value deep in our hearts.

So maybe your definition of success

might be being grateful for the abundance

and beauty in your life, looking after

your mind and body, while also being

kind to others, living sustainably,

contributing to the community.

I mean, that sounds like a pretty

meaningful life to me, but what

does success look like for you?

Maybe, you know, see if you can get

clear on that today and consider the

wisdom in these simple words from

Albert Einstein, "Strive not to be a

success, but rather to be of value."

So as always, thank you for your

practice and your presence here with us.

I hope this practice I offer

you today brings more richness

and fullness into your life.

And now let's settle in

for today's meditation.

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