The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines success as a “favorable or desired outcome.”
What does success look like to you? Is it freedom, is it happiness, is it seeing something through to the end? Or is it money, a big house, and a fancy car?
Success is none of those things to me. It is internal and specific. I’m the only one that can say whether I’m successful or not. And you’re the only one that can say whether you’re successful or not. Oh yes, we’ll be judged, and others can decide if they think we’re successful, but in the end, the only thing that matters is if we think we are. It’s subjective!
You can measure success based on one specific thing and that one specific thing isn’t even what means the most to you.
For example, let’s say you measure success based on where you are in your career. Now, go on a two-week vacation and see what you miss the most about your regular life. Two weeks are a little too long for me, so at the end of it I start to miss my cat, my routine, my own bed, and my day-to-day people. For me personally, my job is part of my routine and some of my day-to-day people are there, but I don’t necessarily miss the work itself. In fact, after the first day back to the office, I’ll want to go right back on vacation with the amount of work that piled up while I was gone. So, while work is important, it’s not how I’m measuring my success.
I used to think that I was much more successful than my parents ever were. But the only measurement I was using was money. Neither of my parents brought in a great salary let alone the fact that when I was growing up salaries, in general, were lower. But they did have other things that I strive for.
My dad worked during the week to pay the bills, but on the weekends, he operated a coin shop at a local flea market. He loved collecting coins and talking to other people that shared his passion.
My mom enjoyed socializing and spending her time outside of work with friends and meeting new people. A free spirit, she was always out gallivanting. She may not have accomplished all that she set out to do, but any given day was fulfilling, nonetheless.
While I love my life, my family, and my hobbies, I no longer see myself as MORE successful than my parents were, and I continue to strive to find things that will fill my days with the things I love.
Doing something you love and are enthusiastic about is success!
I enjoy writing. I’d love to write an entire book, but I need to hone my skills and be more consistent in my practice. For now, success in this area of my life is to hit the publish button when I finish a blog post. I consider it a success because it means I let go of being a perfectionist and the fear of being judged. Eventually, I will raise the bar and success will look different. Maybe it’ll be hitting that publish button more often or maybe it will be getting more engagement on each post. Whatever it is, I get to choose.
Tell me this: How do you measure success?