How I Happily and Positively Redefined Success

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” ~ Booker T. Washington

What does success mean to you? Can you truly ever measure success? Does great deal of real estate, big houses, pots of money…..mean Success?

To the world success means money, power, or fame. The dictionary even defines it as the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence. That is the way that I defined it for most of my(clueless) life. To me, success always had a lot to do with the house I lived in, the car I drove and the clothes I wore. Yes, I used to be the walking Gucci, Nina Ricci, Christian Dior & Ralph Lauren brands rolled in one.

Then a few years ago, I began to understand a new definition of success. I had already entered the sphere of spirituality by then…but still, experience is the best teacher.

On February 27, 2007  my daughter Haaniya was born. She is our first child and like all first time parents the anticipation, anxiety, and excitement were unbearable. The three whole days that I was in labour seemed rushed and hectic as we experienced so much that was unknown. But once Haaniya was born and we were back in our room, life calmed down, our world got very quiet, and we started to take in our beautiful baby princess.

As I sat and held Haaniya in my room, and I was alone for the first time with my perfect little girl… I started to imagine her life, seeing all of the good she had in front of her as she grew and developed. I hoped and prayed for nothing but the best, but as I pictured her life my definition of success changed. I didn’t picture the car she would drive, the house she would live in, or the clothes she would wear. Instead, I thought about how happy she would be, the good she would do, and the person she would become. Looking at this little girl with her whole life ahead of her, I realized that success is not about external things; Money, power, and fame are results: byproducts that come from who you are. The true definition of success is: To Become the Person You Are Happily Capable of Becoming.

When you change yourself positively, you change the world positively too. Wealth, power, fame, and happiness then come as a result. The emphasis though is on becoming, not on obtaining.

Each of us has unlimited potential and it is the pursuit of that potential that is true success.

I wish each and every One of you Immense Success…..

It took me a long time and giving birth to my little baby to redefine success for myself. I hope it doesn’t take you so long 🙂 Life is now. Do what makes you happy.

By the way, I happily do NOT go for brands now 😉

Norman Vincent Peale said, “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”

What are your thoughts on this topic? What is your definition of success? Do you agree with my redefinition of success? Share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to know what you think… 

With Immense Love & Gratitude,
Counseling Psychologist/ Spiritual Counselor
Motivational Speaker/Naturopath
Holistic Healer/Writer

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30 thoughts on “How I Happily and Positively Redefined Success

  1. Hi Zeenat,

    Spot on! Who we are is what’s important. Our community at Unity is just starting to work with a process from a book called “Who have you come here to BE?” that addresses the same idea.

    I’m becoming more joyful, playful, loving & creative. thanks for your consistent support!


    1. Hi Brad,
      Firstly I LOVE your new gravatar!!! You look positively joyful 🙂
      Your ‘becoming’ is now so apparent in your sharing here …
      We have come here to ‘become’ the best we can be …. Love the title of the book you mentioned too. Who’s the author?
      Thank you for your lovely comment here.
      Much love~

  2. Hi Zeenat,

    I used to be a boutique-only, high-end everything kind of person…for me, it was all layers to guard my heart..a way to connect with mainstream even though it didn’t resonate with me. Even with all of that ‘stuff’ I felt very empty inside.

    When I had my children, I chose to stay home to raise them. That limited my income. I was okay with limited income, because something in my being “shifted” and I began to create from my heart truth. Gone were layers of boutique-only stuff, replaced by genuine, authentic expressions which led to amazing connections and experiences. Fulfilled in spirit, and loving life, I began to connect from such a space, and years later, my life truly is as magical as I allow it to be…

    Today, “success” for me is defined by my ability to open my heart and experience fully and to continue to explore and experiment as I experience living my life purpose. .

    1. My dear Joy,
      I love your definition of success!
      Also I cannot imagine you being the brand lover…but the hearts call is always stronger 🙂
      You have come to ‘become’ a free spirit…one that inspires me and many others.
      Thank you for being YOU!
      Much love~

  3. Zeenat, I had to laugh when I read that list of brands! That seems so not you…. and now I know why. What a lovely story. What an amazing accomplishment your daughter Haaniya has made to your spiritual evolution!

    1. Hi Sandra,
      I can’t imagine myself brand hunting anymore. Thank god! Phew! No more trying to fit in and look cool 😉
      I often think and say that kids are little zen masters..till they grow up ofcourse 🙂 so much we can learn from them if we choose to see.
      My soul roams free without the burden of brands 🙂
      Much love~

  4. 🙂 Again, Zeenat, your post is like reading my mind. Experience is a wonderful teacher – I am grateful for the good as well as the not so good, as they open our eyes and hearts, helping us truly appreciate what is genuine in our lives. Until I got married i was someone who wore three outfits a day,, four inch heels and matching accessories. (Just imagine the laundry eh?). I quit my job, got married, moved to a different city, and a year later, when Vidur was born, he was the center of our world (Still is!).

    Then, we moved cities again to settle where we live now and life was hectic, looking after Mom, a growing and fun Vidur and adjusting to not going out to a highly paid job. But life was always good. In retrospect, I like how we think about the good stuff and allow the unhappy experiences to fade away. Eventually, I too found my passion, writing, and have thoroughly enjoyed it for over seven years now. I like how we create our own community, our world and by choice, thrive in it. And that is why your posts touch my heart, dearest Zeenat. You know what I mean. 🙂

    1. Darling Vidya,
      I do understand what you mean 🙂 I’ve moved cities so many times but what I keep with me is all the wonderful memories I created when I was there. Each experience changes us …
      I can truly identify with your story..
      Here’s a big cheer to simpler happier lives 🙂
      Thank you for sharing your heart here dear one.
      Much love~

  5. Zeenat….
    Your story mimics mine. Once you have a child, the likelihood of your priorities changing increases. I too was a designer lover. Now, I proud myself on great bargains. Your transformation is a beautiful and inspirational story. With love and blessings…Fran

    1. Hi Fran,
      Wow you’re a fellow past brand lover 🙂 children have a beautiful way of centering and rooting us just in the right spaces.
      Thank you for your lovely comment here.
      Much love~

  6. Priyanka

    Indeed Zeenat, success can never be measured in terms of attainment of wealth, power and fame. These sure are just the byproducts. I think the happier you are, the more successful you are in life.
    And yes I can very well guess how it must have been to become a mother for the first time. Haaniya is sure a lucky one to have been blessed by a mother like you.
    Take care!!

    1. Dear Priyanka,
      You have a wonderful heart to not measure success in terms of material gain. Happiness is our best success barometer na 🙂
      My Haaniya is my princess..what can I say..I’m the luckiest mother in the world to have a daughter like her. She teaches me more everyday.
      Thank you for your awesome comment here.
      Much love~

  7. Zeenat, I absolutely believe we’ve got to define success for ourselves. And it can be different, as you point out so clearly, at different stages in our life.

    I’m on the same page as you about this, it’s more about the being and less about the having. Who know’s what I’ll think tomorrow…haven’t decided that yet. 🙂


    1. Darling Elle,
      You make me smile wide with your comment 🙂 I love how you say our definitions of success keep evolving with us. It makes perfect sense!
      Thank you for your heartfelt comment here. Psst I don’t know what I’m gonna think of tomorrow either 😉
      Much love~

  8. synchronicitybridge

    …ok I was not *Successful* with posting my first comment so let’s try this one:

    “When men are rightly occupied their amusement grows out of their work, as the colour-petals out of a fruitful flower; when they are faithfully helpful and compassionate, all their emotions become steady, deep, perpetual, and vivifying to the soul as the natural pulse to the body…
    Mighty of heart, mighty of mind–“magnanimous”–to be this is, indeed, to be great in life; to become this increasingly is, indeed, to “advance in life”–in life itself, not the trappings of it….He only is advancing in life whose heart is getting softer, whose blood warmer, whose brain quicker, whose spirit is entering into Living peace… ”
    “Of Kings’ Treasuries,” in Sesame and Lilies (1864)
    LE 18: 97, 99-100

    I was recently *successful* with putting smiles on the faces of three special people.

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    + myself 🙂

    Looking back on life I have come to realize that my most redeeming *success* has been from the result of helping someone aspire to their dream in life.

    …and to think?

    ‘The Devil Wares Prada’

    1. Hi Rand,
      Oh shucks.. The devil does wear Prada 😉
      And you my dear are far from that devil, cause you are happily successful. Loving your smiling way to be successful 🙂
      Thank you for your smiley comment here.
      Much love~

    1. Thank you Angela.
      So glad this post resonated with you.
      I think most of what we own weighs us down and prevents our flight..
      Much love~

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  10. I LOVE your quote, “When you change yourself positively, you change the world positively too. Wealth, power, fame, and happiness then come as a result. The emphasis though is on becoming, not on obtaining.” Thanks for the great inspiration Zeenat! 🙂

    1. Hi Victor,
      Thank you for sharing my words and for being inspired 🙂 that’s what I’m here for 🙂
      Let’s ‘become’ happily successful together.
      Much love~

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  13. galenpearl

    The Tao Te Ching says, “He who knows enough is enough will always have enough.” I figured out a long time ago that money and things would not bring me happiness. Yes, I have things that bring me pleasure, and yes, I am grateful for enough money to have a home and food and things I enjoy. But ultimately, what has brought me the greatest sense of success is feeling content. Great post.

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  15. Elly

    Betsy turned me on to this blog and I think I am really going to enjoy it. i feel your wiseness and love…have a great day\\1

  16. Your posts always hit the spot! To Become the Person You Are Happily Capable of Becoming. What is better than that???

    PS Glad to see one of my readers (above) came to blog!

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