“Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything
other than a successful present moment.” Eckhart Tolle
Success can be a tricky concept. We all have definitions of what that constitutes, and I bet most of us feel like we fall short.
Many people equate success with money and status. How much money do we have to earn (or have in the bank or in assets) in order to feel like we’re a success? Then there’s status. Does our definition include working in a high-powered, highly esteemed career? We might even have physical appearance criteria in our picture of success, which could include a certain weight, body shape, size or height. (Too bad for me! 🙂 )
And although most of us acknowledge that the definition should include inner peace, health, and loving relationships, it’s often lip service. Sure, they’re important, but does the world actually respect and value such non-tangibles?
I ask these questions because my ego has grappled with them for years. And then I saw that quote when I re-read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It resonated strongly with me, becoming an instant game-changer for my sense of success: “Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment.”
If a present moment is filled with irritation, disappointment, doubt, worry, or anger, it doesn’t matter if we’re rich, attractive and powerful. That’s pure misery—the opposite of success.
So now I declare this precise, humble moment a success. I appreciate being in a position to share what’s on my heart. I gratefully take a sip of tea as I look out my window this June day, and thank my lucky stars that my loved ones and I are safe, healthy and alive.
My life is rich and successful beyond measure when I factor in the value of you, my inner circle; my husband and children; my immediate and extended family and network of friends; and that we are all generally healthy, well, and living in peace and relative prosperity in one of the world’s greatest countries.
Believing this doesn’t mean I always feel successful. Old habits die hard, and my ego still likes to challenge and belittle me, so I have to remind myself of this often. Raising a bright and strong-minded teen (and being married to a bright and strong-minded man!), it can be challenging to value the success of each eye-rolling moment. But there’s great treasure even then—I just have to dig a little deeper to unearth it!
Wishing you countless successful present moments, today and forever. Bask in your success, and don’t let anyone define you otherwise.
Purely Practical Tip
Breathe. Slowly, gently, and consciously. It’s harder than it sounds. Our attention is so scattered, our environment so full of visual and auditory clutter, that even focusing our minds on a few attentive breaths can be a challenge. Try to take in 5-10 deep, mindful breaths. It’s harder than you think, but well worth the effort: You’ll feel more calm, less stress, and an overall enhanced experience of your successful present moment! 🙂
Practicing The Power of Now is a condensed version of Tolle’s book, and a great intro to this author and spiritual teacher.
Join the Conversation
What makes you feel successful? Can you recommend any books, resources or quotes that encourage this line of thinking?