Mindstate Motivation Blog

See the Danger of the Great Success Hoax

Okay now be honest!  Did you pull an April fool’s joke on someone at one time or another?

Hopefully, it was a hoax that turned out to be an innocent bit of fun.  Nobody got hurt, humiliated or overwhelmed with stress from having gone through the experience!

When you think about it, the word, hoax, kind of has a mischievous ring to it.  In its simplest definition you could say hoax is synonymous with playing a practical joke on someone.

In its more complex and sinister form it could mean something as bad as the Enron debacle or, more recently, the Ponzi scheme of Bernie Madoff.  You could not call either one of those only a practical joke!

town-sign-96612_1280Both resulted in catastrophic financial impact for thousands of unsuspecting people.  None of those people really saw the danger until it was too late to avoid catastrophe.

I contend too many people unknowingly face a different but potentially just as devastating form of hoax.  It is struggling to succeed in life without realizing it is all a hoax because of the difference between what they think success is and what it actually is.  You may be having the same struggle and don’t even know it!

Let’s talk first about what success isn’t.

Success is not a destination.  Some examples when people make the mistake of defining certain destinations as achieving success would be appropriate here.


  • Graduating from high school or some college or university
  • Getting married and having children
  • Getting a job and “reaching for the brass ring.”
  • Becoming a multi-millionaire
  • Earning a Gold Medal at the Olympics

Well, you get the idea.  We could go on and on with the examples but the above are clear enough for my purpose in this post.

conversation-799448_1280While you might argue, achieving any one of the above five examples is a clear example of success, I would contend they are a symptom of success.  In other words, they are the result of a better definition for success.  A definition that eliminates the chance of a hoax in that regard.

If you live your life by being or doing something that indicates the existence of something else, you are living a symptomatic life.  As a consequence, you never succeed at anything really because you are only experiencing the symptoms of success.

True success goes much deeper than that.  Success is a state of mind resulting from your personal integrity.

I believe you enter a state of success whenever you know you are true to yourself and who you really are.  You don’t compromise that state by defining success as a series of destinations.

Because you are always true to yourself even when facing the pressures from the world around you, you have a shot at peace of mind.  Peace of mind as a result of you knowing you are doing the best you possibly can at all times to become the best you can possibly be…now, that is success in my book!

Success defined in that way will never result in you experiencing the great success hoax of “things” falsely authenticating who and what you are.


What do you believe the definition of success is for you?  Are you truly satisfied with the results of that definition?  If not, what are you going to do about it?

Please share your thoughts by commenting below.  

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Crop of GNCC ShotMindstate mentor, author, trainer and speaker, Gary Greenfield (@LifeRider) provides self-employed people inspirational insight and concise business ideas to help improve mindstate and minimize stress. He believes a mindstate that is positive and stress that is minimized helps self-employed people better profit through performance.

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