Do The Most Inspiring Success Stories Prey On People’s Insecurities?

I come from a lower middle class family. I never had the resources I needed to start my dream business. I had been working in mediocre jobs for several years when I realized this is not something I can keep doing forever. I quit my job, worked day and night to fulfill my dream and two years later, I am running a successful business with a team of 400 people working for me and an annual turnover of more than a million dollars.

Sounds too good to be true? Probably because it isn’t! Don’t believe everything people share on the web. The biggest success stories have turned out to be frauds and there are always more in the making. The whole industry of advertising and PR basically runs on selling lies. Overnight success, instant stardom, and realizing the most unachievable dreams are the common ingredients of the bestselling achievers’ stories.

Our minds are fed with so many unrealistic dreams that anything less than a miracle doesn’t satisfy us. This only causes anxiety, self doubt and inaccurate estimation of one’s abilities. Eventually, a person ends up feeling extremely dissatisfied, unhappy and less grateful for things he/she has, and becomes a self proclaimed failure.

What is the true measure of success? Is it all about making huge amounts of money, creating unlimited wealth, and becoming the talk of the town? Or is it about being able to smile effortlessly and find time for oneself despite all the engagements and challenges? If it takes a toll on your mental health, is success worth it?

We often get so engrossed in our efforts to win the race that we forget about the stakes. When the journey of life is close to completion, the contentment doesn’t come from how much one has accumulated, but the little moments spent with the loved ones that caused genuine laughter.

“Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth. The wealth I have won in my life I cannot bring with me. What I can bring is only the memories precipitated by love. That’s the true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on. Love can travel a thousand miles. Life has no limit. Go where you want to go. Reach the height you want to reach. It is all in your heart and in your hands… “

– Steve Jobs (1955-2011), Ex-CEO & Co-founder, Apple Inc.

Feeling inspired? I am afraid this too is a lie.

It’s pitiful that the success stories we find the most inspiring today are of the wealthiest, and not of the happiest. When, if ever, this whole system of capitalism starts correcting itself, I am hopeful that we find more and more people smiling, instead of being sad about the materials they couldn’t get their hands on.

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