There’s a lot of hocus pocus when it comes to having the wrong focus. No reasonable person would let themselves be defined by a stranger who didn’t really know them, would they? No sensible soul would accept someone strange and unknown to them judge whether they were successful or not, would they?
This is why the marketing and political industries need to catch us by surprise. They tell us stories about people who seem enough like us for us to relate to. Then they lead that person ‘just like us’ into experiences that they want us to have. Whether it’s something we buy or some belief we buy in to, all too soon we can be hooked and hoodwinked. Here’s the sting in the tail. When our external circumstances don’t match those of the person who is ‘just like us’ – dissatisfaction arises. Dissatisfaction is great leverage for those with a marketing and political agenda.
Outside-in is the wrong focus.
The locus of focus needs to be internal, not external. Our definitions of everything in life need to come from within, not be imposed from outside. This means that you, and only you, should be defining what ‘happiness’ means for you and to you. This means that you, and only you, should be defining ‘success’ in your own terms. You, and only you, should be setting your expectations. (I except that certain moral issues are excluded from this argument!)
“According to whom?” is one of my favourite challenging questions. When the world says I should have an electric car to be ethically successful, it sounds utterly credible. But when I ask, “According to whom?” the answers can get more interesting. (For the record, I’d love an electric car – but for the right reasons that I’ve thought through and not because some manufacturer tells me it’s the right thing to do.)
There will always be haters in the world. There are trolls out there. There are bitter people that cannot stand to see other people break through to the kind of happier lives that the haters can only dream of. They may criticise you. They may say that you’re a failure, that you’re a dreamer, that you’re a waste of space… but you can guess what I’m suggesting you ask yourself… “According to whom?” Who are they to tell you what success should look like or be like for you?
I wrote this blog for one specific circumstance in your future. Sometime soon in your future, someone’s going to judge you and put you down. As soon as you sense that happening, I’m hoping you’re going to remember this question: “According to whom?” And then I hope the hero inside you will rise up and declare (even if silently) “I will define what success is for me,” or any other focus or label that is being drawn attention to. You define ‘you’, not anyone or anything outside of yourself. Let’s make the locus of focus internal – not external.
A Moodscope member.