Photo by Luca Upper via Unsplash

10 Healthier Ways To Measure Success In Your Life

Without checking your bank balance

When most people think about success, they think about money in the bank, a beautiful house (or two), a nice car, expensive suits, dresses and jewellery. Maybe they’ve got a couple of kids getting straight-A’s in school. Traditionally, success in western capitalist societies has been quantifiable. Wealth and ownership have value, at least in one currency or another.

Whoever dreamt up this particular idea of success being intrinsically linked to wealth made one fatal flaw. They did not consider the most important aspect of a human being’s wealth that they could never buy: happiness.

With that in mind, here’s my proposed new method of how humans should be measuring success. And to make it easy for you, I’ve made each aspect quantifiable!

1. How much you love your life

Do you wake up every morning and think “Ugh another day in hell”? Do you hate your job and your boss? If so, it’s time for a change. Discover what you want to be doing with you life and work towards it!

2. How many people you make happy

Are you making your friends, family and coworkers happy? Could you be creating positive change in people’s lives? Bringing joy to others will bring you joy. That’s why we have Christmas, right? It’s not a consumerist circle-jerk, right? Hmph.

3. How many new experiences you have regularly

Start small! Try a new cuisine, take a pottery class, learn the violin (much to your flatmates dismay). New experience can become new passions. What if Mozart had never discovered music? What if Shakespeare had never started writing plays? Think about it.

4. How many times you laugh each day

More laughter = more happiness. Life is not meant to be taken so seriously. Play with life, have fun with it.

“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realise it is play.” — Alan Watts

5. How many times you get back up

It doesn’t matter if you fail. What counts is that you picked yourself back up and gave it another shot.

6. How many people you can rely on

How many true friends do you have? The ones that will do anything for you. The ones that you can truly count on. The ones that matter. Cherish and nurture those friendships for greater happiness. Let some of the others fall away.

7. How may times you stopped to smell the roses

When was the last time that you dawdled do work so you could enjoy the sunshine? The last time that you sat in a park or on a bench, just watching the world, thinking of nothing? When was the last time you took your time and enjoyed the moment? Go and lay in the grass and watch the clouds, trust me.

8. How many books you read

Books are gateways to other places, other times, other perspectives. The more you read, the wiser you will become. The more worldviews you will gain. The more enjoyment you will gain. Combine with some rose-smelling for maximum effect.

9. How many new ideas you’ve thought up

We’re creative and imaginative creatures. As children, we invent our own stories, and play in other worlds with made up characters. We are truly happy. Let your creativity blossom through an outlet. Write, paint, draw, dance, brainstorm, invent. Create art in one form or another. It’s fucking great!

10. How many places you travelled to

Travelling costs money, but you can do it cheaply. You’re better off not buying take-out and takeaway coffee for 6 months so that you can take a trip somewhere. Travel allows you to experience a new culture, to grow, to directly experience another place, engage with interesting people and enjoy yourself. It doesn’t have to be a round-the-world trip at first. Any travel will bring you happiness.

If all this fails, you could always try the “get rich” route. I mean, what do I know? I’m just a 25 year-old with little savings. I have to measure my successes with these methods, otherwise I’m just a failure! Good luck.