The human brain is a strange and incredibly powerful organ. It goes above and beyond to make what you think and feel come true. If you want to be more successful, first you have to appear more successful—both to yourself and those you’re looking to impress.
However, success is subjective. It’s going to look entirely different for someone who wants to be a best-selling author compared to someone with CEO aspirations or who wants to make it in Hollywood.
There are some common exterior signs of success, such as driving an Audi Q5 or wearing a Rolex, and those are staples for a reason. Western society generally accepts these as signifiers of success. However, there are other signs of success that are a little more subtle. They might not always be visible to passersby, but those who are in the circles you want to be in will notice and welcome you.
Here are a few ways to tell the world, overtly and covertly, that you’ve arrived:
- Buy organic foods. You probably have an idea of the kind of person who buys organic food. For starters, they have the financial means to do so. They are also privileged enough to be eco-friendly and care about their health, their bodies, and the well-being of the farmers they’re helping to support. Walk into an organic food store, and there will be various renditions of “success” shopping for their quinoa.
- Go to yoga. Yoga is a costly practice. Within the yoga community, there is also a multitude of success signifiers such as having the best yoga mat or pants. Although there are certainly avenues for practicing yoga for low cost or even free, that isn’t what yoga signifies in the West. It means you have not only the funds to practice in a nice studio but the luxury of time.
- Send your kids to a private school (or go to one yourself). If you have children, sending them to private school is the ultimate way of saying you’ve made it. You can dig that in a little deeper with bumper stickers or yard signs. If you don’t have kids, the ability to go back to school—especially for a doctoral degree or MBA—is a way to tell the world not only are you successful, but you’re about to get even more successful.
While there are some foundational ways of defining success in America, they are slightly different for everyone. What defines success for you?