A new definition of success

Success = honoring and maximizing the humanity in every person you meet.

What if that were our definition of success? I think that would change people’s minds for the better. I think it would empower more people and I think it would make our world a better place.

What good is it to be rich and famous if you’re a jerk to everyone you meet? If you can’t be present in the moment with other people, what are you doing it all for? That is the “honoring” part this definition. Honoring other people and the shared humanity of each experience.

The maximizing part is about generosity. You owe it to those around you to help them on their journey. Especially if their journey looks like yours and you know more about the path. This isn’t just an obligation, but it’s actually rewarding to help someone avoid the pain we’ve felt. The right kind of generosity gets you there. It acknowledges the pain someone is feeling, and helps them get to a place where they can live more fully.

If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you know the teacher will say “namaste” at the end of each session. “Namaste” is a word from sanskrit that can be translated as “my soul recognizes your soul,” “I honor the light within you because it is also within me” or simply “we are one.” Namaste fits perfectly with this new definition of success. It comes from a place of generosity and collaboration, rather than competitiveness and greed.

Our new conception also leaves everyone better off. There’s no need to work 30 years on your company before you can be considered “successful.” It’s much more accessible than that. You can be successful today by appreciating everyone around you.