Success has such a positive connotation, and yet, the road to “get there” can feel daunting. See, many view success as a milestone, something tangible you can grasp—and this philosophy can put a ton of pressure on your shoulders.
According to meditation teacher and bestselling author Light Watkins, it’s time we nix the notion. “[Success] is really just about being in the moment with whatever you’re experiencing,” he says on the mindbodygreen podcast. Below, he explains why showing up and being authentic can ultimately propel you to wherever you want to go.
Why authenticity is the key to success.
First and foremost, let’s discuss what success actually means. According to Watkins, success is not a destination but a feeling: “I find success to be whatever you’re doing that feels aligned,” he says. If you feel at peace and steady in your endeavors, then you are successful—no matter where you are in life.
Given this definition, Watkins describes achieving success as simply showing up in an authentic way: “Whatever you’re doing right now, there’s something about that experience that is going to play a role in your overarching ultimate purpose,” he says.
Now, your purpose may evolve day-to-day, he continues, as you learn more about yourself and let new experiences inform your decisions—this is a good thing! However, it’s important to stay curious about what you’re accomplishing in that specific moment and trust that you are on the right path.
In fact, when you completely immerse yourself in those moments, chances are, opportunities will arise that otherwise wouldn’t have been available to you. “If you really show up to whatever you’re doing and you become world-class at it, someone is going to notice,” Watkins explains. “There are no throwaway moments out there. Our job is not to try to figure out intellectually how you are going to get out of this situation; it’s to really be as present and as authentic as we can be. And then whatever opportunities are there will be revealed to you at that point.”
Again, Watkins emphasizes that it doesn’t matter what field you’re in; what counts is how you approach your role: “Ultimately, you’re practicing your ability to be present with as many things as you possibly can, and that gives you the ability to take action without wondering what people are thinking of you.” And that, friends, is the key to sustainable success.
Achieving success actually comes down to showing up—being authentic and present wherever you are. As Watkins shares, “Think about failure not as the opposite of success but the opposite of not trying, not following through on what your heart is telling you to do.” How’s that for your daily dose of inspiration?