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Success and money can be spiritual killers that gnaw at us from the inside out.
Each day can be a silent journey of overwork, overwhelm, and feeling like we’re never enough and that everyone’s doing better than we are.
Success and money are emotionally charged trigger words that have the power to breed self-judgment, internal pressure, physical exhaustion, mental imbalance, spiritual illness, and unmet expectations. Depending on how we are doing financially, our yo-yo relationship with success and money vacillates between disappointment, elation, comparisons, self-judgment, narcissism, self-esteem issues, frustration, depression, pride, changing levels of confidence, imbalance, perfectionism, jealousy, fear, lack, worry, and guilt.
The books I’ve written and the songs I’ve composed and recorded haven’t brought in a flow of money (yet), but glory be, I still feel successful. How is that even possible? Isn’t success linked to the amount of money I earn and the fame I achieve? Maybe. Maybe not.
It would be a dream come true to become a New York Times best-selling author for the motivational books I’ve written or to know that millions of people are downloading my music.
What do I do in the meantime of my dreams?
Do I keep putting myself down for what I haven’t achieved, or do I create a broader definition of “success?” What will you do in the meantime of your dreams?
If you’re beating yourself up about your status in life, I’m here to say, “Stop.” Stop destroying yourself—put an end to your inner critic, evaporate self-judgment, and end harsh treatment of yourself. Redefine your core values. Redefine success. Take a healing breath, and then another, and simply love yourself for trying your hardest. Reach for the ethereal qualities of trust and faith, too. You never know what miraculous possibilities are waiting around the corner. Just for you.
It’s not cliché when I say that kindness, helping others, empathy, and a listening heart embody my view of success. Gratefulness, too. Definitely gratefulness.
I know my core values won’t provide food on the table and a roof over our heads, but what good is making money, and what good is achieving success if we lose our humanity in the process?
>> Are money and success worth it if we don’t have the time to be caring human beings who stop to listen to a stranger’s life story and make the time to ask their name?
>> Are money and success worth it if we don’t have time to give and receive a hug, look warmly into the eyes of a friend or stranger, or offer a warm handshake to someone we didn’t know a moment before?
>> Are money and success worth it if we forget to tell the people who mean the most to us, “I love you?”
>> Are money and success worth it if narcissism takes over our whole existence and there is no time to listen to someone else’s struggles and dreams?
>> Are money and success worth it if this is all we can think about, and as a result, we miss the eagle flying overhead or we don’t take the time to revere the 100-year-old tree in front of us?
In my motivational self-help book, Heart-Dreamer: Stepping into Life, Love, Creativity, and Dreams–No Matter What, I convey to the reader:
Success isn’t about college degrees, money, and career choices. Success glitters from within. We may not be a famous artist, writer, athlete, scientist, change the world activist, or wealthy business entrepreneur, but we are still a stellar example of what it means to be successful. Whatever we do to help make the world a better place is my version of success. Success shines when we help people feel like they matter just for breathing and being. The compass for genuine success is defined by who we are as human beings. Success is easy. It only requires us to shine love.
Can you think of a more valuable currency and formula for living a successful life? Keep working hard. Follow your ethical compass. Listen to the heart of your dreams. Reach for the stars. Find satisfying ways to earn money. Make a difference by being kind to someone today.
And above all, remember that the most valuable currencies reside in loving yourself in a gentle and supportive way, honoring each other respectfully, and sending your dreams for peace, love, and hope into our one precious planet.
When success and money include the spiritual currency of love, we have already achieved Nirvana, Utopia, and Inner Peace.
Success vibrates from the inside out.