The Powerful Difference Between Outer Success and Inner Success

The Powerful Difference Between Outer Success and Inner Success

It’s a bit of a cliche that you can’t love others if you don’t love yourself.

But there’s truth in all cliches!

Along the same lines, outer success will mean little, will provide little or no satisfaction or happiness, if we don’t find inner success.

What’s inner success?

Learn more in this great Thrive article by Hitendra Wadhwa

Many of us struggle to balance the demands of the world with the desires of our own heart. We live with family members we feel emotionally distanced from; we feel disengaged from our job but fearful about trying out a new path; we feel the pressure to conform to others’ expectations even though they do not make sense to us or seem downright wrong. The waters of life are often muddy, and our spirit strains to be in full bloom. 

Some of us deal with these dilemmas by splitting life into two parallel tracks, seeking to live authentically in our personal sphere while chasing earthly glory on the outside. When we do this, we never fully occupy either space. That’s how I was operating in my teens and twenties. 

Others divide life into two phases. Phase one is the here-and-now pursuit of outer accomplishment in which we strive to earn a lot of money, achieve success at work, outshine our peers, and find security and validation. Phase two is the “sometime in the future” pursuit of inner success—becoming the people we want to be. I have witnessed this approach in some of my MBA students. In their quest for relevance and rewards, they see no option but to go after the most coveted and highly paid careers, even when they care little for the organization they will work for, the customer they will serve, or the product they will be making or marketing. They promise themselves that once their outer hungers have been fed, they will feed their inner yearnings and become their true selves. 

But too often the compromises struck in phase one become a way of life, and the years speed by without the person ever finding time to explore and express those deeper yearnings. 

It may seem that inner and outer success are doomed to be in conflict, that we must choose between them. The more we focus on getting other people’s approval and pursuing success based on their rules, the less we feel true to ourselves; the more we pursue our own agenda and freely express ourselves, the less open we are to striking compromises to gain other people’s support, and the less worldly success we enjoy. 

But inner and outer success do not have to compete with each other, once we learn to search for success in the right place…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE