Success isn’t green.

What is success? What does it look like?

noun

  • 1.the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

Having money or the lack of money plays a huge roll in how we perceive success. It also plays a roll in how we measure our self-worth. Speaking from experience, being financially unstable can have severe consequences on one’s mental health. I can remember standing in line at food pantries waiting for a box of food and having to get my clothes from local thrift stores.

The feeling of failure from not being able to provide for my family was one of the main contributors to my depression. It’s taken a lot of hard work and self-reflection to become the person I am today.

When I started this journey of personal growth to become successful, money was never the benchmark. I needed to find myself, I needed to find happiness. I needed to become confident in who I was in order to take on a new purpose in life post-military service.

Everyone wishes to have loads of money. Life is not all about making money, but more about helping others and finding value in one’s self. I think it’s perfectly okay to want to have financial freedom but what is the point if your’re just a bitter, angry person constantly measuring your self-worth by your job title and income.

When I was in the military I was undoubtedly happy. Why? I didn’t make copious amounts of money. I was happy because I had a purpose. Success without a purpose is an endless life of disappointment. Success is more relatable to one’s happiness and joy by fulfilling a purpose. I’m not rich, I improve every day by making spiritual investments into myself and I always make a point to create space between myself and negativity.

Negativity alters perception and ultimately leads to underachieving goals. If you spend your entire day thinking or thinking about other people’s lives that you perceive to be successful. You’ll find yourself energy wasting and involved in unproductive gossip, jealousy, and bitterness.

Have you ever met someone that didn’t have a bunch of expensive crap, a fancy job title, or a mansion on the hills, but they were always incredibly happy? I have, I now know that perception is everything and the power of positivity and purpose will ultimately lead to true success and happiness.

Having lavish material things don’t equate to happiness. Those are temporary bandaids for a misguided perception of one’s self-worth created by a materialistic society that values profits over purpose.

By society’s perception and definition of success, I’m not successful. By my terms, I’m very successful than even people with more money than me. Why? Because I have a purpose, I have goals not measured by titles or bank accounts, but measured by consistent self-improvement.

I’m very fortunate to have a real-life experience that taught me the power of perspective and also showed me that having money doesn’t mean being happy. I’ve met a lot of people with heavy paychecks that are absolutely miserable and grotesquely insecure.

 Let me be clear, I think it’s perfectly okay to want to make a large sum of money, there are plenty of wonderful reasons to want complete financial freedom.

Without a comfortable level of money in the bank, are you not going to be able to provide for your family and have the basic necessities to facilitate your personal, professional, and spiritual growth. Live within your means and strive to be rich with positivity and purpose.

No amount of money will ever redefine the true meaning of success , and the accomplishment of a purpose. I don’t strive for success in the hopes of being perceived as rich. I am however very passionate about helping people. To me, that means showing someone that they can still be a successful individual without deep pockets.

”Your positive action combined with positive thinking results in success.”

-Shiv Khera

Author: 22fitness

I am a South Milwaukee native, I graduated from South Milwaukee High School in 2002. Upon Graduating I joined the United States Army as an Airborne Indirect Fire Infantryman. Where I served over 8 years and 2 Combat deployments to Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

In June 28th, 2005 I was awarded the Purple Heart. From being wounded in action when a roadside bomb struck our HUMVEE. From there I continued my career and deployed again to Iraq from May 2007 to August 2008 to take part in what has been named “The Surge”. Throughout my career, I achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant and received numerous awards and accommodations. 

Upon exiting the service I found myself battling severe PTSD, depression, and anxiety. 
after losing my own brother to suicide in December of 2015. I became an advocate for people suffering from mental illness. In August of 2016, I marched 22 miles across Milwaukee county in an effort to raise suicide awareness. After the walk, I went on to find “22 Fitness” a free fitness program dedicated to helping those that struggle with PTSD and Depression. Throughout the year I host several 22-mile walks, and community workouts, and several public speaking engagements, to continue to generate awareness of the mental health issues within our communities. 

I am currently the Manager of Operations for Commercial Recycling Division, Goodwill industries of southeastern Wisconsin and metropolitan Chicago. 

I am married to my high school sweetheart. Together we have 3 daughters and reside in Hales Corners Wisconsin. 


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