Most of us spend our lives - especially in our 20's and 30's - pursuing success of the professional, fiscal, and/or relationship variety. We want to get that flashy job, that gold credit card that means we make a lot of money, or that relationship with the perfect partner.
Along the way, we usually pick up the "signs" of our "success": the status car, big house, most current electronic gadget, expensive clothes, and other things that we've been conditioned to believe proclaim to the world: "Look at me! I'm successful!"
But we accumulate too much, and suddenly the things that said "Success!" have become a stifling heap of excess. We become oppressed by the things that promised to make us happy.
We've overspent our income, maxed out our credit cards, all in the name of making an impression that doesn't last on strangers, people who don't matter to us (and those who do, don't care about that superficial stuff anyway - or they shouldn't).
It's not too late, though. It ain't over until it's over, it ain't over until the fat lady sings, etc, so on and so forth. We can change. We can learn to identify happiness, contentment, self-awareness, inner peace, devotion to developing our spiritual selves, contributing our time and effort to volunteering in our communities, etc, with success. To me, contentment, inner peace, and having ample time to devote to nurturing my spiritual self are important aspects in my minimalist journey.
When I'm surrounded by chaos and disorganization in my home, it's reflected in my life. I feel like there aren't enough hours in the day. I dread going to work, partially because I know what I'll be coming home to (a mess). I'm tired, stressed, and generally unhappy.
By contrast, when my home is clean, with everything in its place, I'm relaxed. My home is a soothing refuge from the world, a place where I can sleep and read and play with my cats. It helps me cope with the stresses of the outside world, and things that might be overwhelming me (right now) wouldn't be so bad when my living space isn't also overwhelming.
Even if you make the big bucks, don't let people, advertisements, magazines, the TV or movies, or any other outside influence tell you that you "Must Buy Now!" to show your success off to the world.
Happiness lies in wanting what you have, not having everything you want.