The aroma of freshly baked bread filled the air in the pastry shop and was complemented with the Colombian hazelnut flavored coffee bean smell that tickled your nose with sweet sensations. The fireplace provided a warm and soothing spot to sink into a leather chair, read a book, and savor a specialty drink. This place was heavenly bliss.
I became absorbed in people watching, noticing people driving by in fancy cars, others dressed to the nines, some with expensive watches, and yet others seemingly like me, just normal folks with no bling but all smiles.
Somehow I just wasn’t intrigued by all the fanciful things these people had. To me they projected an air of fakeness. I began to wonder if they were happy with all these material things. Likely they were, but how happy would they be if they suddenly lost all these material possessions. Would they be happy then? I doubted it. Then how real is happiness and success in these material things? They bring about only a false sense of success, one that can quickly erode. It erodes because we think that it makes us significant. We want to be something so we tend to define ourselves with the material things around us instead of things that are meaningful. So, when we lose these possessions or these things are not as fanciful as other people’s possessions we direct more energy to acquire bigger and better things.
Our culture over-promotes success. It seems that everything has to be related to success. But, success is simply a favorable result. Those who are brave define what success is within real and meaningful things. I’d forgo a new fancy car for the chance to sit more often in a café like this. At least this experience of pleasure fills me with more success as a human being than a fancy car that’ll be outdated in a year or two.
Experiences bring us personal fulfillment of which no material thing can ever replace. Memories last forever. This is such a simple notion that most tend to forget as they try to placate a temporary compulsive desire through the acquisition of material things. How many outfits have you bought because you wanted to feel important or that you felt projected success? Now do you still wear them today? Likely not. You probably bought new clothes, endlessly trying to maintain this “sense” of success. Sadly, it’s a futile process. You’ll never be satisfied because material things do not project any real sense of success only a short-sighted image of success. If we focused instead on meaningful things to define our success we’d all be extremely successful and very happy with our lives. I’m successful because I have a loving family and life experiences. I have things, but they don’t define me. I define myself instead in the experiences I live and the relationships I build. This simply philosophy has allowed me to become extremely successful as a result and no material thing can ever replace it
Have you found your success?
Feel free to share your answer in the comments.