By Hilde Larsen
Contributing writer for Wake Up World
Allowing greatness into your life is brave. Being successful is brave. Being inspiring to yourself and others is brave.
Successful people are inspiring people, and they are like magnets. They draw attention, curiosity and interest. People want some of it to rub off on them, and they might even want a part of their limelight. They become hot topics of discussion, and they present as leaders in their fields.
But what is success?
The word success has many connotations and definitions, and there are probably as many thoughts and opinions on what success is, as there are people going after and hungering for it. Success cannot be defined into a single sentence or a word. It is comprised of many different factors, and depends on your goals, your values and your general mindset. In general: To reach a goal would be considered a success, and to feel you have achieved would be considered being successful.
The way we have been conditioned, and the fact that money has been attached to power, we often link success to riches, to material gains. We look at people who are driving the most expensive cars as the most successful ones. We look at famous people like movie stars as the typical definition of success. They look happy, they have money, they are mostly fit, and they seem to be living their dream. Sure, we know they also experience loss, depression, heartache, weight gain and life crises. They are human. Still we get blinded by the spotlights and the presentation of fame and success. The media has created a false picture, and the farther the presented image is from the average life, the more we are distanced from feeling successful ourselves. Us, the average Joe. The more glam and glitter we are presented with, together with images of happiness and the “good life”, the less successful we feel. We experience a sense of lack, depending on the size of the gap between what you are presented with, compared where we are.
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
Being competitive in life is a beneficial trait if you want to be a successful athlete, for example. Your primary goal is to win. It is the name of the game. On the arena of any sports, winning is success, losing is not. Not much confusion around the games of competition. Some bring competition to all areas of life, and that can be tricky. Seeing ourselves in comparison with others is not only exhausting, it takes away our feeling of greatness.
Being a copy of someone else is never as good as being the best version of ourselves. There is nothing wrong with looking towards those who have done what you want to do, be it in terms of financial gains, achievement, or spiritual growth. You do not have to make the same mistakes, or experience the same setbacks; some things are worth learning from those who have walked the path. We all stand on the shoulders of our forefathers, and all successful people have had their mentors, both in the physical and through books and other media. But the feeling behind true success is the feeling of having accomplished something valuable. Something we are enthusiastic about.
I see a distinct difference between growth and achievements. What we achieve is linked to outer goals, like career related accomplishments, material gains and physical performances. They are all about tangible objectives. We have an ambition and a destination. When we reach it, we achieve what we wanted, so we succeed. We are successful. When we evolve as humans, by letting go of our old baggage, and by bettering ourselves, we are constantly growing. We are getting closer to who we really are, or experiencing more of it, and as we keep living that truth, we will feel another kind of success. The kind that comes from an open heart. The kind that needs no validation. In my opinion that is true success. Creating material riches is not success, growing into your own best version is.
“To be a successful person, you need to validate every step and every goal that you reach.” – Hilde Larsen
What does greatness and success mean to you?
I grew up in a typical Western household. I was raised by working parents with the understanding that holding a 9-to-5 job, getting a proper education, marrying, owning a house and not doing anything out of the norm was living a successful life. More money, a respected reputation, and a higher status equaled a higher value.
My life, up until it was completely turned upside down by ill health, consisted of striving for accomplishment and validations. Being the best at what you do is not at all a bad thing. Believing that life is evaluated by your ability to achieve, your high speed, your level of fitness, and your strong will, can kill you. I was so stressed out by my beliefs and my need to do what I believed was expected of me, thinking it would make me a successful human being. If I could only hold down my business, take care of my home, my family, my children, the cars, the vacation home and plan our travels, I would be a success. If I could just get this body to feel better, to constantly meet my demands, then maybe it was good enough. I had to reevaluate my beliefs and understandings. My “system” failed. It was not based on truth and greatness. I had to delete most of what I had learned about life and success. I had to start from scratch, or so it felt. I had to rebuild my entire health, recognizing that any financial gain was not on my success list at all. Real success for me is not tied to any trophy or material thing at all, it comes from my willingness to work, strive and stay committed.
For you, success might mean being able to get up in the morning, to get your health back, to be able to walk a mile or two. Another person values his or her family more than anything, and looks at being a good parent as their greatest success. For someone else, taking over a large corporation, buying the dream mansion and having a private jet is success. Simply being alive and breathing can also be defined as a success. Your life, your current situation, your goals if you have any, will define how you look at your own level of success.
Warren Buffet, one of the world’s most successful financial people, was asked in an interview; “What is your definition of success?” His response was; “Success is having what you want and wanting what you have”, and “Success is having the people whom you love around you.” Even one of the wealthiest men on the planet doesn’t equate success with money.
The thing is, no matter what your beliefs are, the core message is that success cannot be measured by what you do, say or believe, but by who you become.
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” — Zig Ziglar
Success: Why do we want it?
It is not necessarily the money or what they have achieved that makes us want to be like high achievers and successful people. It doesn’t have to be the specific lifestyle or obvious performance that we would like to see happen. The type of person that they have had to be to have done what they did, is inspiring our soul to want to do and be better. Someone who wins the lottery is not successful, or especially great or accomplished. Someone who inherits a lot of money, doesn’t necessarily hold a lot of skills. Having a vast amount in your bank account doesn’t make you rich. What makes you interesting and a teacher for others is the personality and ability to follow through that others wants to learn and follow.
We all want great health. A basic need that we all strive to experience. Some more vigorously than others, and some with a higher standard and motivation than their fellow beings. Still, health is wealth. Without it, there is not much fun in anything. Successful people know this. You might believe that the obvious health guru’s and more spiritually focused part of the population are the only ones that are eating for life, not for death. Not so. Healthy people stay away from junk food, from the standard Western diet. They know better, they are educated, they use their ability to take action on their knowledge. They make better choices, because they know how important health is, and they know what makes you and breaks you. When you know that your body and your brain is your tool, you valuate taking care of it. You are not fooled by the industry and the marketing of packaged, processed and toxic foods. You know better. We want the great health that some are able to achieve, and we look up to the strength and endurance those who are able to achieve it holds.
The most important difference between success and mediocrity is the ability to act, not the knowledge. A lot of people know, only a few do.
Our hunger for success comes from the basic needs of fulfillment; to be able to feel our greatness. When we live feeling less than, not believing we are worthy of an amazingly fulfilling life, our basic needs are suppressed.
We want to feel significant.
We want to matter.
We want our lives to matter.
We want to make a difference.
We want to be challenged.
We want to help others.
We want to be the best that we can be.
We want to belong.
We want to be proud of who we are.
What we must understand is that our basic needs will be fulfilled once we allow greatness, and realize that true success is living the grace we have been given. Through honoring our strengths and our ability to learn, we succeed in life itself.
“Don’t strive to be a success in the eyes of others, but contribute to growth and value.” – Hilde Larsen
Are you conditioned for living your greatness?
Many have put their name on this quote or saying; “There are three kinds of people in this world. Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.“ We are all flesh and blood, yet we all have a different make up. Some carrying more of their own and other peoples bullshit around than others. Some more ready to take responsibility than others, but still, we are all more than able. I like to believe that we all have what it takes to allow ourselves the greatness in our lives. I don’t believe that some have it and some don’t. What is it that seems to be the difference between those that have the capacity to succeed, and those who don’t? Between those living and inviting in their greatness and those who linger in the background? I call them the brave ones. They are the ones changing the world as the move forward. They are the ones showing the way to a better life for all.
10 Ways to Live a Life of Bravery
1. Brave people are eager to talk about positive ideas.
They constantly look for solutions and ideas that could improve their lives. Average Joe’s engage in gossip and jealousy. They engage in discussions that focuses on goals and aspirations, growth and positive outcomes.
2. Brave people adapt to the changes of life.
They take advantage of every situation and sees it as an opportunity. They accept the way it is, and look for the best possible alternative path. They see life as half full in every situation. Mr. and Mrs. Joe, on the other hand, will sit down, complain and need to talk about it. They will groan about their problems, not focusing on solutions. Their glass is always half full.
3. Brave people not only set goals, but they make an action plan.
While the Joe’s will set the goal, maybe even write a list, they will fall of the wagon and not follow through. The more than brave, will use their strength, their motivation and their ability to work hard, to follow the step-by-step plan that they made. They continuously plan and map out their goals and progress.
4. Brave people are occupied with their own business, and have no need to judge or criticize others.
Even though most people have a tendency to judge and spend time focusing on others, some of us don’t. We evaluate ourselves rather, to learn and do better.
5. Brave people create a better life.
The average person keeps dreaming. While everybody will strive to live the best life that they can, there is a distinct difference between those that actually create, and those who don’t. Some are makers and some are watchers. The brave will strive to better themselves, while Mr. Joe often wants to be better than others.
6. Brave people read books, and educate themselves by learning from those that already did what they want to do.
While the average Joe’s are staring at the TV screen, they are reading uplifting and educational literature. They spend their free time differently. One being outdoors and active, one in front of a screen, a game or something else that adds no real value.
7. Brave people control their thoughts, and create their own norms.
They are not letting themselves be controlled by anyone or anything. They only need approval from themselves. The rest of the crowd will most often let their thoughts control them, and freak out if they don’t feel the support from the masses.
8. Brave people do not need to hold on to things.
They know there will always be enough. They do not thrive in clutter or overabundance. They know the value of simplicity. They buy value, not things. They invest in health, alone-time and spiritual growth. Striving, less successful people will accumulate possessions and hold on to as much as possible.
9. Brave, successful people have the ability to simply say no.
They need no special reason or long explanations. They are the boss of their own time and life, and can live free from feeling obligated to do what is not in their own and their family’s best interest. Most people have a tendency to say yes. Simply from having been falsely taught to believe that pleasing others was more important than doing what was right for oneself. Being a yes-person, is exhausting and not very brave.
10. The bravest will look for the long-term rewards.
They are willing to sacrifice. They are willing to do what they need to do in the now-moment, to be able to harvest in the future. The more average person will keep looking for the instant gratification, it is addictive. Feeding a lack and an emotional imbalance.
“Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” – John Maxwell
What is greatness?
Greatness is bravery.
It is beyond success.
It is courage and humbleness.
It is the honest and true ability to serve and grow into more of one’s own potential.
It is honoring God and creation.
Greatness has no limitations or egoistic agenda.
It emanates from love and pure intent.
Allowing greatness means accepting all that we are, and loving ourselves enough to honor our purpose and passions. By humbly and truthfully living to the best of our ability, greatness will be a part of everything that we do. Because we are, we are great, and because we have free will, it is our responsibility to honor it. Through the pure intent to keep seeking expansion and compassion for everything, we will fill our shoes more and more.
Realize that learning from the best, honoring their knowledge and wisdom is not only smart, but it shows humility. By being humble, we are allowing our greatness to come forth. We must see ourselves as worthy and able. We must be humble, teachable and free from comparison to others. By staying true to our own path, our own truth, and our own strengths and mission, we are celebrating every step of the way. There is no end goal in life, only bits and pieces of accomplishments and growth. When we see how unique and special we are, and are willing to use it for something good, by stretching and creating, I believe we have found true success and greatness.
“No man is an island, but every man is within himself greatness.” — Hilde Larsen
No More Bullshit: Power Up and Grow Free
The new book by Hilde Larsen…
Let’s cut the crap and get real. What in the world has taken us so long? Why is it that we keep on living as if nothing is wrong, when the whole world is upside down?
If you are searching for the good life, for abundance, health and happiness, this may be the book for you. In ‘No More Bullshit’, author and life coach Hilde Larsen takes you right back to the very beginning, giving you the tools you need to uncover the causes of the disconnects in your life, and revisit yourself and your life, bullshit free.
Are you ready to dig deeper into life and its meaning, and flush out everything within you that’s not worthy of taking your light and your essence? No More Bullshit is designed to help you smoke it out, and set yourself free — to find the real you and live the life of abundance and joy you deserve.
‘No More Bullshit: Power Up and Grow Free’ is available here on Amazon.
Recommended articles by Hilde Larsen:
- How to Write Your Life Manifesto, and Why It Will Change Your Life
- Listen to All, Learn from a Few, Follow No One
- 10 Ways to Foster an Attitude of Gratitude
- Spread Your Wings! 8 Benefits of Living Outside Your Comfort Zone
- The Day I Died – The Dark Night of The Soul
- 4 Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Own Healing
- Deal With Your Own Shit – Then Serve Others
- The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off
- The Art of Surrendering – How to Let Go of the Outcome – and Why
- Forget the Guru! You Are the Master of Your Universe
About the author:
Hilde Larsen, known as ‘the one who Inspires’, is the CEO and founder of inspiredbyhilde.com. She is a certified Health and Mindset Coach, an Author, a Keynote Speaker, Detox Specialist, Raw food Teacher and Life-Enthusiast. Her glowing enthusiasm for health and vitality has the leading role in her work. Her interest in healing and spiritual growth also led her to become a Reiki Healer. She is highly intuitive and has a strong connection to Mother Earth and the spiritual world.
Born and raised in Stavanger, Norway, she and her husband of 29 years have a second home in Florida, USA. She is a proud mother and grandmother, and a tree-hugger at heart. Called by nature and spirit, she is inspiring many to take back their power, and to live a healthy successful life doing what they love. Hilde now spends her time traveling between Norway and Florida, speaking, and appearing on different media as the Inspired health and thought leader. She is an authority in her field who has walked her talk. She also values the time with her clients, and her time in nature with her closest family and friends.