The truest measure of success is living out the truth of who you are. 7

from book The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose

We closed the last blink by touching on the idea that material wealth pales in comparison to the emotional wealth you can create by serving other people. This blink will explore the nature of success, how it functions and why we need to redefine our concept of the term. The first thing we need to realize is that success comes in cycles.

When the author Sarah Ban Breathnach published Simple Abundance in 1996, she had no idea that it would sell seven million copies and catapult her to the top of the best-seller charts. Speaking of her success to Oprah in 2013, Breathnach admitted to experiencing a curious moment of angst when her book dropped out of the best-seller list.

She cried constantly, assuming no one would understand her emotional state because of the success her book had achieved – how could anyone have sympathy for a best-selling author? Talking with Oprah, she realized she hadn’t prepared herself for the book’s inevitable fall and hadn’t understood a universal truth. Namely, that success is cyclical.

Sarah also spoke of her lavish spending sprees in the aftermath of her success, from buying eight pairs of designer shoes on one business trip to purchasing the chapel once owned by Sir Isaac Newton. Over the course of the candid interview, it became clear that the way people manage their wealth reflects the way they view themselves. For example, people who experience a windfall – like Breathnach – often feel unworthy of their newfound financial success, and become spendthrifts in their attempts to create self-worth.

Breathnach’s example illustrates the need to redefine our notion of success. Instead of focusing on topping the best-seller list or piling up pairs of designer shoes, we should think of success as living truthfully, both to who we are and our path. To reach a point in our lives where there’s harmony between our inner thoughts and outer actions should be our ultimate goal. Net worth and professional success change with time, but our innermost being is a constant in life – a reference point to structure our decisions around. When we listen to ourselves and cast away superficial notions of material success, the paths of our lives will be made clear.