How To Prosper In A Digital Society Where The World Is Not Enough

Digital Leadership Principles

 “Success and happiness should be categorized as ‘overused’ terminology. I would trade anything to spend my life in peace with sufficient prosperity.”

~Maria Lehtman

Do you feel overwhelmed by the success recipes flooding the social media? Is the advice what you wish for? Is what you desire what you need? How do we recognize the secret of our unique tools of prosperity to guide ourselves and others through the currents of the digital ocean?

Your identity

“Across the social sciences and humanities, identity is a conceptual tool to think about sameness and difference, both in terms of individual continuity and change over time and social categorization or group affiliation.”

~Phillip L. Hammack Jr. ǀ Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

In the process of identifying prosperity vs. success, we first need to consider that we build our identities in multiple dimensions: e.g., family, career, hobbies, dreams, desires, values, social life, passion, vision, confidence, etc. Both the exterior and interior worlds create our sense of identity, and the changes in all of them affect how our character reforms.

Multiple studies have shown that traditional elements (geography, social status, religion to name a few) impact our identity creation less than our online engagement level, e.g., social media and gaming (example source: Prof. Beddington, BBC News, 2013 ‘Web redefining human identity.’)

“The internet can allow many people to realise their identities more fully. Some people who have been shy or lonely or feel less attractive discover they can socialise more successfully and express themselves more freely online.”

~Professor Beddington

We are an outcome of our past and circumstances, but the past does not define us. We have to define and redefine who we are over time. We discard our old characters numerous times in our lives. One world breaks and gives room for a new one to be born. Social media expresses some dimensions of our identities, but there are many more known only by ourselves.

There is not a single tool, self-help book, therapist, mentor or guru out there who can work your identity creation out for you, but there are many smart people who have walked the path and can give you advice.

There is not a single tool, self-help book, therapist, mentor or guru out there who can work your identity creation out for you, but there are many smart people who have walked the path and can give you advice.

Your intuition or a gut feeling will often let you know what path feels right for you. If not, usually your wallet creates a limit of its own. Online communities are beneficial tools for finding peering and support groups as well as outlets in trying out new social models. If you are a newbie in the online world, start by interacting in private groups within your comfort zone. I come across people regularly who are authentic and genuine in building ‘deep-mind’ networks.

The importance of redefining your identity

Our world is in a constant state of development. Every generation is more hyper-connected than the previous one. The digital immigrants gave room to digital natives who need to adapt to the coming digitally immersed, advanced and integrated technological societies.

During the past years, I have supported talented individuals in private or at work to overcome obstacles and challenges in integrating their identities to any given circumstances. If there is anything, I have learned so far, it is this: success is overrated and a surreal concept to people who are in distress or “workaholics.” We have set the bar so high in the business world and social media that younger generations have difficulty to understand the difference between success and prosperity, and the genuine person behind the scene.

Why do I underline identity over success instead of the other way around?

You can have all the success in the world and still be an unbalanced individual. The only way to feel comfortable with you and your life is to understand the multidimensional individual you are. You are the variable, not the constant.

Some time ago I had the opportunity to attend a webinar hosted by JV Crum III, the author of Conscious Millionaire. I was genuinely surprised by his authenticity. I realized that whatever I did to succeed had to make me ‘feel’ successful. It did not matter if I addressed a volume or a niche market as long as I understood the audience I was addressing. The dialogue inspired me. Although the webinar did not make me desire to be a millionaire, it motivated me to dive into the omnichannel networks of social media and online communities. I wanted to understand more so that I could better support people finding their empowerment. For any person to grow and prosper you need a feeling of empowerment.

The key is finding your ‘discomfort zone’ and connecting with people who encourage you to grow on your path. I have never begun a new project without a feeling of uncertainty. It is the only way to ensure that I have enough challenge ahead of me to keep me interested.

Why place prosperity over success?

“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”

~Cesar Chavez

The reason why people can reach success and feel that the world is not enough is very simple. If we are not aspiring to be better people, we ultimately fail as human beings. No success in today’s world comes without a cost to someone else’s resources. Keyword ‘poverty’ in search engines will give you the current status in no time. The following quote is from The World Bank Group, an overview on understanding poverty:

“Despite the progress made in reducing poverty, the number of people living in extreme poverty globally remains unacceptably high. And given global forecasts, poverty reduction may not be fast enough to reach the target of ending extreme poverty by 2030.”

About a year ago I came across a fast-growth, hard-sell trading company who managed to convince me to transfer money to their account. Cleverly they moved a bonus on top of my investment to stop me from withdrawing funds.

I faced a severe illness in between but managed to recover some of the funds back just before I went into the hospital. To this date, I still have not been able to reclaim the rest of it. I am drained of energy every time I speak with them. If there was a part of me that did not care for making loads of money before I fell under my health circumstance – it was more dominant after I spent three months trying to earn enough muscle power to lift up my camera. For the first time, I felt truly blessed to live in a country that had national healthcare. Otherwise, I would be selling my property by now. Same applies if I had ventured to be an entrepreneur, or believed in fast-return trading houses that really did not care about my personal situation.

When diving deeper into recreating your identity and learning what you need for success – you will discover that prosperity will become your number one goal. Why? Because prosperity implies that you are thriving in every measure of life – it comes with financial benefits but not at the cost of your or other people’s well being. Prosperity has no predefined monetary figure, and it includes your family, friends, overall, who you are.



Maria Lehtman
Maria Lehtman
MARIA has over 20 years of Sales, Marketing, and Professional Services experience from the international telecommunications and travel industry. Her achievements include successful global Transition, Transformation, and Competency programs in management roles in the the global telecommunication field. She is currently working in International Sales & Marketing department with transversal employee and executive social media engagement development programs. Maria is passionate about digital empowerment and the opportunities it can provide for people around the world. She is a dedicated photographer and digital artist engaged in several creative projects at any given time. She is a compassionate leader, and her mission is to support people in self-transformation and in embracing new skills. Her trademark is her capability to share a smile even during the most challenging circumstances and keep a 'mindfulness'-attitude. Maria’s posts and thoughts represent her own view of the world. See Maria's current publication on Maria is a contributing author to the inspiring book Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change and Crappy to Happy: Sacred Stories of Transformational Joy

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  1. I truly enjoyed your Article Maria. I learned about life on the back roads and lost hiways yet I love the life I have and rejoyce in the way my journey has taught me. What I have learned could never be found in a book. Great article to start the day with.

    • Thank you, Larry :)! I would never trade the lessons-learned either, you are so right in that. I often think I chose the long road. Far and wide.

  2. I truly enjoyed your Article Maria. I learned about life on the back roads and lost hiways yet I love the life I have and rejoyce in the way my journey has taught me. What I have learned could never be found in a book. Great article to start the day with.

  3. Yet another great article, Maria! Your detailed analysis covering the above six points makes for an interesting read. I have often observed people mistaking prosperity as a measure of one’s financial success alone. Where I tend to differ is the overall capability of the prosperous individual to put this prosperity to proper use in terms of peace with oneself, feelings of relaxation, a sense of achievement, as well as an overpowering urge to help others rise up to a higher level in their daily lives.

    Thanks, with Warm Regards!

    • Thank you, Bharat 🙂 I agree with you. Helping others is why I feel we are here in the first place. I also always wanted to sustain a certain degree of financial self-sufficiency in order to help others. I wanted to achieve my independence – a self-sustainability that so many women in this world cannot achieve due to circumstances. Hence I never leave out the monetary aspect completely until/unless we learn to live in truly sharing communities again with everyone able to express themselves. The realist in me took the more logical road. 😉