How you feel when you see others succeed?  Do you celebrate their success?  Or, do you feel that their success somehow minimizes you?  Are you envious?  Beyond your feelings, how do you act?  Do you do anything to undermine them or criticize them?  If so, why?

On the other hand, how do those around you feel when you succeed?  Do they encourage you and authentically express happiness for your success?  Or, do they somehow feel threatened by you?  Do they try to knock you down a notch?  Do you ever try to hold yourself back from doing your best out of concerns that you will excel beyond the performance of others?

I remember early in my career, I always considered myself in competition with those around me.  I had to succeed so as to “better them”.  Sure, success frequently brings promotions which bring more money and the opportunity for more prestigious positions.  Looking back though, I know that my ego had an intent to succeed so as to “win the competition of life”.

Success moved me into leadership positions, and somewhere along the way my intent shifted.  I began realizing that we were all interconnected with one another.  Somewhere I heard the line that “the best leaders are the ones who develop the most leaders”.  I read the Tao Te Ching where Lao Tzu told the story of where the best leader was the one where the people thought they did it themselves.  In other words, life is about empowering others.  Your greatest success comes when others around you benefit so much from your presence that they not only succeed beyond where you are, but may not even realize the role you played in their success — nor do you tell them.

Recently I had coffee with a good friend with whom I used to work.  I asked him about his greatest success in his career and he began counting.  Eventually he came up with a number that represented the number of people who he had managed during his career and they had eventually excelled beyond him.  He saw his success linked to their success.  His ego did not require their acknowledgment of the role he played in their career.  Would you be able to claim this as your greatest success?

We all benefit when everyone around us expresses the highest levels of their talents and creative abilities.  When others succeed, see their success as yours.  Celebrate them as you would celebrate your own wins, because they are.  And, don’t hold back from success out of concern that you will shine greater than those around you.  None of us benefit by any of us playing it small.

Moving to an awareness where all of life is One opens you to letting go of competition, of winning and losing.  Instead you become aware that everywhere you look, some aspect of the One Life has the opportunity to succeed.  When any aspect of the One Life wins, we all win.  Can you see it?  Can you feel it?  Can you live it?  What are you going to do with that awareness?

Mark Gilbert

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Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!