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What Is Real Success In Life?

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As we get older, I think that we review our lives and what we really want from it. Understanding the realisation that superficial things no longer feed us the same way they used to. Our hopes, dreams and desires become more grounded and earthy. For me, I have concluded that, you literally internalise your experiences in life, which shapes your external reality. This is done on a conscious level of course and more often than not, on a subconscious level. For the most part, those experiences shape you, in a way that aids you and serves a purpose. On one hand, they can hinder you and hold you back. Leaving you the choice to continue blindly; led falsely and unknowingly to an unwanted destination. On the other hand you can recognise them; unlearn, undo and disconnect those links, to that perception or outlook. 

But how? Answer: Self-Mastery. It is not a journey to be taken on lightly, it is not for the faint of heart. or for those looking for a quick fix; it is a lifelong journey. It is not always happy and light, it can be daunting and shocking. As well as magical and enlightening. It is both dark and light, terrifying and liberating…the term “woke” comes to mind.  

What Has Success Got To Do With Self Mastery?  

In the western world, success is materialised and external. Draping in cars, money, hierarchy and status. Where you live, the point in life you have reached. People are idolised who appear to “have it all” Ignoring the sacrifice and emptiness that sometimes follows. Later, confessing the internal turmoil that accompanied this success. Jim Carey,  in a recent interview with The Talks expresses his want for everyone to achieve the level of success they desire, to understand that when you get there, that type of “success” is not really what it’s all about.  

The Colins dictionary defines Self Mastery as “Self-mastery is that condition whereby your body is your servant and not your master or the ability to take control of one’s life without being blown off course by feelings, urgescircumstances etc 

To be in a position where situations, feelings, materialistic treasures, past memories have no hold over you, in a weird twist of irony, give you complete freedom in this life. Therefore, could be the real success in life. Bringing more happiness and contentedness than a 2020 plate car, ever could. 

In 2019 I learnt more about myself than the previous 35 years. 2019 has been a year of learning and growth and I gave personal anecdotes, to describe my insight on my various social media platforms. I rate these enlightened moments as the ultimate success. Hugely exceeding other materialistic or status events, I have achieved in life.  

Here are some of those lessons towards my own Self Mastery. 

  1. Let go of the things you cannot control  

Learn when to let go of the reins of control. Notice the signs and if you don’t, it could lead to anxiety, self doubt or other unwanted feelings. Learning to let go of the things I am not meant to control, has been a God send. For e.g. I decided that instead of staying in a situation, I was going to remove myself from it. You could say running away. I wouldn’t have called it that at the time. I applied for many opportunities to aid me in this, which looked really promising. For whatever reason, none of them panned out. Opportunities were cancelled, disappeared at the last minute or wasn’t what they first appeared to be. I took this as a sign that I wasn’t meant to control this one. I let go of trying to control that situation, which ended with me being given a better opportunity for which I am eternally grateful for…. 

        2. Boundaries are essential 

If others are angry upset because of the boundaries you have set, then that is there problem. Anyone that truly loves and respects you, will understand. Even if at first, they are upset about it. Saying “No” is not only ok, at times, it is essential. 

       3. There’s no such thing as negative feelings 

I allowed myself to feel previously labelled “negative” feelings has led to me being able to see myself fully and know that it’s ok to not feel ok. I have learnt and understand what that feeling is trying to teach me. I sit with it and let it lead me. This has helped me navigate through some difficulties with anxiety.  

      4. Your self talk matters 

 I learnt about how I viewed myself and what I needed to change about that. I was very critical of myself and never praising what I had done well. I started journaling, using a gratitude diary and of course affirmations. The transition has not been miraculous and slow at pace. I’m finally learning the power of self-love. That difference, my friends is phenomenal, overwhelming and empowering. This is still a work in progress. Noticing your internal dialogue is essential to changing unwanted behaviours and how you view yourself. Being your own worst enemy serves no greater purpose at all! 

      5. You are not your thoughts 

Just because you think the thoughts you do, doesn’t make them your thoughts or real! This was a game changer for me! We all have those thoughts that pop in our head, and lead to us to feel a bit weirded out by them. Or make us think that “I must be a horrible person to think such things!” It turns out, we all have unwanted thoughts. It doesn’t make them true or you. Pay them no mind and get on with your day.  

     6. Emotional scars need healing too 

That healing isn’t just for broken arms, cuts and bruises; it’s also for healing of emotional trauma, scars and memories. I’m reading a fantastic book called “The Body Keeps The Score” by Bessel Van Der Kolk. It speaks of how people who have experienced severe trauma, can keep reliving the experience years later. The body reacts even without the conscious mind being fully aware. I highly recommend this book for further information on this subject. The trauma does not have to be severe for the body to remember. We all have emotional scars, that would benefit from healing.  

      7. We all have toxic traits 

It is not always someone else fault. We have flaws just like the next person. And to others, YOU may have been that toxic person. Notice your toxic traits and take care of them. This does not make you a bad person; it makes your human. Yin and Yang exists in life, therefore they exist in us.  

       8. Being positive doesn’t just mean being positive. 

Positivity is not about pasting on a fake smile, through the bulls**t you put yourself through. It’s about being able to see the positive side in the shittiest situations. Positive thinking on its own, will not suffice. However, it helps along the journey when including positive action.  

       9. Core Beliefs can help or hinder 

We all have a belief system that we live by. It’s up to you to either unconsciously let it rule you or be consciously aware of whether those beliefs serve you or not. Most of these core beliefs are received from parents/care givers and the environment that we grew up in. Most are positive and have assisted you get to where you are in life and some are limiting and hinder your progress. Which leads me onto my next lesson… 

       10. Get Out Of YOUR Way! 

YOU (or that self-limiting belief) can be the main thing in your way to achieving what you want in life. Get out of your own way. Stop making excuses, putting yourself down and thinking of the absolute worse outcome. Flip the script! 

       11. You are in control 

On the contrary to #1 we do have more control over our lives than we are led to believe. Life is multifaceted, multi-layered and a highly complicated system to navigate; which busies our minds and redirects it away from the real reality. Let’s be honest, if you stressed and worried about all the things that our attention was diverted to, you would never leave the house! Have you ever noticed every year, there’s a different issue to be worried about or another scandal uncovered? You do have control and are not destined by your genes, background or school, university (or lack thereof) qualifications…let that sink in… 

      12. Love makes the world goes round.  

Love is really the answer to a lot of the world’s issues. Ok, I said that! It is true! Simple, but true! If everyone approached everything with LOVE; wars, conflict, famine, poverty, homelessness, you name it, would be eradicated. Period! Reading “When Soul Is Life” by Kylie Riordan introduced me to this concept: Love, Compassion and Kindness is what the world needs.

       13. Live in the present 

Looking back is necessary for learning, looking forward is useful for planning, but looking at where you are right now in this moment is imperative for living. Living in the moment, appreciating what you have and where you are now, is the catalyst for change in your life. Exercise gratitude daily and appreciate the little things in life.  

        14. Living Intentionally

Living intentionally makes you view your days, hours and minutes very differently in life. Bringing meditation into my life has helped me focus, gain clarity and stopped that racing mind when I need to sleep at night. Having a reason and purpose to my actions throughout the day, gives me a certain amount of pride and accomplishment. Rather than slumping out of bed mindlessly, showering and getting ready for work. Taking control and thinking about my tasks and its overall purpose help me execute my plans with precision.   

        15. Everyone should have therapy! 

Everyone should have a space held for them, free of judgement or misguided advice, to navigate through life and its many challenges and to communicate from within to without. Sessions with Caroline at Healing For She  have been amazing! Look out for a vlog that I’ll be doing, explaining my learning and experiences in having a space held for me.  

        16. Following your passion rather than Finding Your Passion 

When you follow your passion you find your flow, excitement and purpose in life. I say follow your purpose rather than find it because you already have your passion. Everything you need is within you. You just need to recognise what it is. Notice what excites you, makes you happy, what you enjoy doing or that you’re inherently good at…then follow that! You never know where it may lead you. And….it may not be something that you realised. Stay open. My passion of writing has opened up other opportunities that I would have never had put together, should I have not have  followed it….

       17. Your Purpose 

Your purpose in life does not have to be some great achievement in the eyes of the masses. Your purpose could be based around your small circle of family or friends. You don’t have to become the next Mother Therasa or Ghandi, you don’t have to be a great leader or a philanthropist, you don’t have to be a great inventor or lead the next revolution; great if you do! However, your purpose could be closer to home than you think and that is ok. 


All of our self-mastery journeys would be different and I am in no way saying, follow my example. I’m sure I have much more to discover in my journey. In 2020 I think more people are opting for self-mastery unknowingly. This year I’ve noticed people saying more things like “I’m not dealing with pressure in 2020” or “2020 is the year where we stop living pay cheque to pay cheque” and “Negative vibes are not following me into 2020” as well as “2020 is the year we stop negative self-talk”  

Maybe subconsciously, we’re all entering a journey of Self Mastery together… 

Until next time… 

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Disclaimer: Please note that this blog post is based on the publisher’s own experiences and should not be substituted for individualised professional advice. Please seek professional advice if you have concerns about your own mental well being. 


21 thoughts to “What Is REAL Success in Life?

  • Cyndi Buchanan

    I really needed to read this today. These are all great reminders.

  • Casey

    I don’t think there is true success in life. How do you define success? Having lots of money? Have power? Have the best materialistic things? Every success is different depending on the person. One thing for sure that we all need to work hard to achieve anything in life.

    • Serena Rogers

      Hey Casey! Exactly! That is what I am saying in this post. Not sure if you misunderstood the point I’m making, but it is exactly that. Everyone’s idea of success is different and it goes beyond material possession and status in my opinion.

  • Life Mag

    Nice article! For me success is when achieving TRUE happiness. 🙂

  • Raksha

    Letting go of things is the one that I struggle with. I am getting there, slowly than what I would have wanted to but yup making a progress.

  • Luna S

    Fantastic post and I completely agree, it is hard to define it because it is different for everyone. You did a wonderful job with this article.

  • Chirpy Brains

    This is such a beautiful post. Thanks a lot for sharing this.

  • Fransic verso

    I like how you mentioned literally what we go through. I agree with you, our thoughts doesn’t define us and shouldn’t as long as it doesn’t come real.

  • Martin

    Thanks for sharing. Happiness for me is knowing I have done the best I can at any given task and not to stress myself out too much over small failings.

  • Marjie Mare

    This is awesome. Letting go of what I can’t change is what helps me overcome my stress. Thanks for sharing..

  • Anshul

    I think success is more about reading a certain goal and then improving yourself keeping certain standards in mind. This blog is really nicely written.

  • siennylovesdrawing

    have a good read from your sharing here, thanks for sharing it!!
    I am agreeing to following own passion is important personally, life is too short not to do what we love the most
    cheers, siennylovesdrawing

  • The Crumby Vegan

    Wow there are a lot of fantastic, note-worthy points made in this point. I’m bookmarking it because no doubt I’ll need to look back at it in the future. Thank you! ?

  • aisasami

    There were so many great points in the post! So many! I will look at “The Body Keeps The Score” too. I always thought success was about the money and beautiful life with having everything I wanted in the material sense. But my view of success changed recently as it is now defined as being the true self.

  • Rhea

    Yes to all! My idea of success has changed as I grew older, from selfish definition of “success” now I focus on my family and that’s how I gauge success ?

    • Serena Rogers

      Same here! Success to me now equates to freedom and autonomy.

  • Vasundhra

    Beautifully said! Relationship with oneself and then with those around matters in our success story. Loved this checklist!

  • Imaan

    This post is everything! Very interesting. I also wrote about this subject last week in my blog.

  • Shilpa

    Needed this today, great reminders!!


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