The Success Mirage

Do you feel like success is elusive or that you're never really satisfied with the success you do achieve? Why is that feeling pervasive in our western culture and where does it come from? I recently had an 'aha' moment when thinking about how I had been chasing 'success' for many years.

What I discovered is that I'd been chasing a 'mirage of success' for most of my life. When I reached the mirage – which is the idea of something I wanted – say getting a PhD, then suddenly a new mirage would appear and I'd begin chasing that one. The funny thing is that I didn't somehow feel better when I actually 'succeeded in capturing' the next mirage. I had a fleeting feeling of excitement and contentment and then I'd feel hungry again for that next mirage.

I realised that my chasing success has actually been a shortsighted attempt to recreate a particular set of experiences or 'feelings' such as contentment, joy, connection and appreciation. So I decided that if I could experience that feeling everyday then I'd already be successful! So success is not about chasing a new experience but rather in cultivating the 'optimal' experience right where you are and doing it consistently everyday.