I was talking with a friend the other day and we discussed how success is different to others. Some may define success as having a lot of money in the bank, hot cars, and cool houses. Others may define success as the ability to continue what you love to do without giving up. My father thinks its a success when he wakes up alive and well each day. Basically, we all have our vision or definition of what success means to us. So why do we chase after validation from others when it really is up to us to be happy with what we are doing in life?
I don’t know if it is because my birthday has just passed, or I am growing older, but the thoughts of how others perceive my success really doesn’t matter to me anymore. Do I want to be liked? YES. Do I want to be accepted? OF COURSE. Do I want others to look up to me. ABSOLUTELY. But if they don’t, I no longer feel like I am less of a person because of that. I am a success in my eyes, not because of the money I make, the things I own, or the people I associate with—I am a success because I am happy doing what I love; not everyone can say that.
Some of us (including me) spend so much time trying to get validation from others—and for what? Does this improve or quality of life? Does it feed the poor or cure the sick? In the grand scheme of things, what others think does matter but shouldn’t rule our daily lives. It has taken me years to learn this lesson. I only wish I knew THEN what I know NOW. Talk about a waste of time.
I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life, but I am most thankful for the ability to get up in the morning with a chance to correct them. I am still growing into the woman I hope to soon become. Worrying about if others view me as a success is no longer something I even want to entertain in my mind. If I just help one person, touch one soul, or assist someone else with their dreams, then I am okay with that.
Success is relative—impress yourself first.
This has been an a-ha moment 🙂
Thanks for such an on-time post! I’m working on my personal development and goals, including creating a dream board.
I’m working on my own definition of success, that’s quite different now that it would have been two years ago.
I used to be quite “selfish,” I admit.
Now “success” means raising a healthy, intelligent child with values and bonding better with my husband.
The Cubicle Chick says
Joyce, thanks for commenting. This also brings up the topic of writing your own personal mission statement (7 Habits of Highly Effective People)–I hope to touch on that topic soon as well.
Ryan Biddulph says
“I am a success because I am happy doing what I love”
Bingo! That’s my take on success, almost to a “T”. I feel successful because the goal in life is to be happy doing what you’re doing, whatever it is.
Do what you love to do. Release people who don’t feel this way. Release unhappy folks. All you need to do to be successful is to be happy with your current circumstances.
Feel free to want bigger and better things, and expect these things to happen….but NEVER stop being happy now, for happy living is successful living.
I too struggle with the approval thing at times but the more often I ignore my ego’s shouting and let the God in me talk out loud, I feel way more comfortable in my skin.
Thanks for sharing your wisdom Danyelle!
Larry Lewis says
You are a success when you feel good about what you are doing. I wake every day excited by what i have to look forward to through my day. This is because i’m following my passion. More people MUST try it.
First a joke: When I think of success, I think of my relatives. They are all successful. So Success is relatives.(Joke on your title. Don’t be upset. All my titles are jokes.)
Seriously, women are raised to think we have to be complimented before we can consider what we’ve done successful. I am 61 years old and young (depending on the day,the weather,what I have to do). I know when I have done a good job; and yet, I still want to be told. I can pat myself on the back at night for having done stuff well; and yet, I still want to hear it. I know better; and yet. . .
Then there are people on our wonderful world with chemical imbalances that keep them from the joy we should have. They may know that they are being blessed, but they still need to say a prayer for help being thankful and help having the energy to get their work done. These people might think they are not successful because they don’t wake up with joy. It is important for them to accept their feelings and then go to work.
I know those of us who have the sense of joy when we wake up think that is the way all people should be if they are “following their passion” like Larry says, but please don’t forget that others may be doing so, but don’t have the feeling. Are they successful? You bet. If they get up and do anything at all, they are successful.
I will always speak for those who feel excluded because of what others say. So please forgive me if you are upset by what I wrote.