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The Illusion of an Overnight Success

Love, Self

There is no exact timeframe for success.

Society surrounds us with pressures to become successful, and we are conditioned to expect results to come at lightning speed and with no help of a life-coach to help guide us. Seduced by the promise of the quick fix, or a pill that guarantees easy weight loss, we act as though we can painlessly change destructive habits.

Significant change requires attention, a decision, and a determined commitment to the process. Results are usually accomplished piece by piece, in other words slowly... Consider the commitment, attention and time involved in learning to play the violin. The same kind of investment is necessary whenever we take on a new endeavor such as becoming more open and loving, or following our dreams.

A person may appear transformed after an intensely emotional moment, positive or negative, however if you follow her around for a while, you will most likely see that the powerful effects of the moment fade after a few weeks. Unless we do work to change faulty beliefs, the change is not of substance. We may be sincere in the wanting but are unable to follow through.

I remember a man that I cared for deeply, swearing that he'd never be unfaithful again. In the moment, he was no doubt sincere in making a promise, however he couldn't follow through. He was unwilling to reflect, examine and do the level of work needed to make a difference in his relationships. He was able to keep his promise for about six weeks when the signs of the old pattern returned. Wishing things to be different is not enough.

Madison Avenue pedaling various products sends a strong message that we will immediately benefit if we use their products. It is an illusion; and they bank their financial success on their audience falling for their seductions... Many live as though the illusion is the real thing. To create something of substance, a real change, or success takes time.

Let's look what is considered a success, compared to what really is a success. Society places a high, (correction) a very high value on the external trappings of success. Accordingly, the bar to reach includes a lucrative career, an abundance of money, the big house, the status symbol car, as well as belonging to the right clubs, etc. It is not that we should reject the external, nevertheless, for many, it is out of balance.

What about your internal values? Are you courageous enough to live by deeper values even if they do not fit into the external norm. For instance what about the author who has been rejected many times and will not compromise her values to make a quick sale? Is she less of a success because she was rejected? Externally it may appear that way, however internally she may feel as though she crossed a spiritual threshold.

Down the road the same author may become a bestselling author, "an overnight success". Does public acclaim make her more of a success than she was already? Do people accept at face value the overnight part, or do they stop and think about all the years of commitment and dedication that goes into an authentic success?

Ask yourself what success looks like for you. Are you living your values? If not, you are bound to feel some unease or discomfort in your life. Do not label the confusion or unease as a bad thing. It means that your soul is stirring, pushing you to find the answers that will work for you.

Laura’s “Overcome Obstacles and Have an Incredible Life“ offers boundless guidance, addresses doubts, fears and uncertainties that  may be keeping you stuck and wondering if you have missed your chance to be happy. You have not!  Read or hear more at

This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission from the author.


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