I know what you're thinking - here's another get-rich quick article implying my life is in the proverbial scrapheap.
But, easy with that trigger thumb - we aren't remotely close to rubbish. The shapes bleed neon into the night, and we're here to pick-up on their hazy feels.
Image from Peakpx.com
Here's the first - and arguably the most well-known shape behind the idea of success.</p>
We strive to increase our yearly wage because it gives us status, wealth and security. So, it can be seen as an obvious marker of measuring the 'S' word.
The more you earn the more important your cog is in the societal machine. For your constant turning-over of skills that generates capital for the company you work for (or the self-employment you keep), you are well oiled and showered in a hefty salary.
You collect cash like nobodies business with the aim of buying ‘stuff’ like a car; clothes; or anything that you can afford (the list of things that can be brought is far too long for this article).
"Buying is a profound pleasure", Simone De Beauvior
Of course, you can stand-out without your ultra-wage, but with its monthly/weekly visit it makes being that vibrant bird of paradise, who sits on branches and attracts the jungles attention with vivid colour displays, that much easier.
image from bestofwallpapers.com
A by-product of Capitalism (no, not your average NY cap - the cap) - the over-arching economic system that squeezes every last penny out of your pocket - salary is a big shape of success.
Countless movies show it's worth - where mid-to-high-tier salaried professions's recreational and necessary means are easy to sustain.
A higher salary helps with areas of your life.
And, it won't be going anywhere soon (well, maybe the next round of drinks on pay-day, but - it's pay-day...) .
This shape, arguably, isn't as tangible as the card, cash and coin objects associated with salary.
But it's just as real and just as felt.
We've all committed, or dedicated our time and energy, to something at some point or another. It might be the apprenticeship; the undergraduate degree; or the saving of funds for that five-bedroom house (five bedrooms - check you!).
Commitment implies a goal, which in turn implies success. That commitment to succeeding at your goal leans more to an abstract thought (e.g. I will be a better time-keeper) than the idea of objects that can be paid for.
But it's fluid and purposely reimagined concept continues to drive us all to our own shape of success.
"Commitment is an act, not a word" - Jean Paul Sartre
Sticking at it doesn't always mean there's an end to the allotted time-period for your goal. Commitment can be:
Of course, they aren't all the commitments you can commit to, but, I'm trying to keep you engaged.
And listing every single commitment would no doubt bring that hovering thumb crashing down on your phone's home button (Google statistics show most web users access sites via their phones, but you know, you could be on a computer. Either way, thanks for keeping at it. By it, I mean this article - only 3 shapes left. Go team!).
3: the shape of relationships
Ahhhh, where would we be without our family, friends and colleagues.
image from tinybuddha.com
The word relationship has a few meanings, with some more recently dominant than others. Relationship, in popular culture, usually refers to a romantic relationship between two people. But, dictionary.com lists that modern meaning as no. 4 in their list, with the following, in order, coming before it:
So building relationships carries to all areas of your social spheres. Building, maintaining and improving those relationships, although an abstract quantity, is a sure form of success.
Each type of relationship has it's obstacles and green pastures. Living with the parents after you've lived in your own space is a sure-fire way of upsetting the balance of a healthy back-and-forth. Or, if living with a partner, arguments will likely arise on the area designated as the middle of the bed(don't get me started...). Furthermore, there's the bashing together of heads (it's a metaphor people - no heads were bashed in the making of this article) between colleagues when disagreement of the latest project flames into hot dispute.
Examples like those define hurdles; and how we maintain a connection. But as we're all aware, relationships thrive on good times.
Times like date night (hell yeah!); a surprise birthday party; and nipping to the shop to buy an impromptu collection of chocolates for the girls, all build successful relationships that blossom into beds of vibrant flowers.
"Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom" Marcel Proust, re-quoted from the positivity blog
image from Stock Vector
Working on your personality - how you act in some situations; around certain people; and a general outlook to life, is the successful shape 4.
How many times you been told to work on your temper?
Or to be kind to those cousins?
Or consider colleagues ideas before shutting them down?
Maybe you want to show appreciation to that aunty more? After all, she hand-washes that fur jumper that would otherwise shrink if put in the washing machine.
With western cultures manifestation of working on ourselves: the New Year's Resolution - recently passed; this time of year is abundant in purpose repositioned to improvement, with the ultimate aim a successful building of personality traits and/or habits
"We continue to shape our personality all our life", Albert Camus from kidadl.com
A successful personality is difficult to measure; and there's rarely a tangible object to show the progression of one; so a constant shaping, maintaining and developing of that personality is the best way to achieve this fluid form of success.
And a positive personality is proven to increase your chances of career progression.
In a 12 year study, scientists from around the world shown how a conscientiousness, extroverted and emotionally stable individual can boost their career prospects - with it published in Sage Journals.
So, maintaining a healthy personality can increase your chances of career success, which directly links to shape 1; kind of links to shape 2; and definitely underpins shape 3 - but how does it affect shape 5. Yes, shape 5, the final successful shape.
All those parents ready
image from creativemarket.com
Being a parent, one of life's great joys - and even greater responsibilities.
We're hardwired to look after those little ones as soon as they open their little eyes; and despite the lack of sleep; time for themselves; and general loss of energy - some parents seem to do it effortlessly, like gliding on an ice-rink.
Why is that? Well that's just it - they're making it look easy.
<Being a successful parent requires a whole host of things - with different ages of child needing different areas of support, but some traits stick and never go out of fashion (or parenting). Here are a few from the first page of a Google search:
Being a successful parent can't be bullet-pointed to four categories - the subject of parenting is too vast and diverse to list everything here. But, it is a successful, fluid and constantly maintained thing. Something that takes time and can't be measured by coin or card.
Also, science shows that successful kids are a product of successful parents. Those children are shown the ways above as well as countless more, like teaching them social skills; having healthy relationships; teaching math early on; showing and building 'grit'; and understanding the importance of good nutritional habits.
image from freepik.com
There we are - the 5 shapes of success. Done. Finished. The end.
I hope you've enjoyed this light read into some of the ideas behind success and can take something away from the shapes put forward (I know, you're thinking about buying a neon light, aren't you? Well good news for you - so am I! Check us. #neonfriends).
Thanks for reading.
By Mitchell Wood @ firstname.lastname@example.org