I recently read an article that talked about success, and how it is taking over how people think and live. This got me thinking about what success meant to me. And what I want to teach my kids about success.
There is so much pressure in the world right now to get a good education, get a good paying job, and own all the newest, up-to-date gadgets, cars, houses etc. The list can go on and on. Debt is something no one can seem to avoid right now, if they want to keep up with the Kardashians (or the Jones’s as my generation would say).
Those who can actually afford the extravagant homes, cars, electronics, furniture, clothing etc. are the ones who are working 80 hours plus a week, and they rarely have the time to enjoy the things they have accumulated.
They are so controlled by their to-do lists that they miss out on the simple pleasures in life. The laughter of their children. The toddling first steps. Time to relax with friends. A walk in the park. Watching the sunset. Sleeping in. Going for a nap in the middle of the day. Reading a good novel. Listening to music.
So how do we define success? I guess that is a personal preference. But, I am finding that I am redefining my definition of success. It doesn’t mean I need to own the biggest house, have the most expensive car, or the newest electronics. It doesn’t mean I have to be the skinny chick, super-mom, or the perfect wife.
What success does mean to me is to find happiness and acceptance in all areas of my life. Not that things will be perfect. (Yes, I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist) But that I will be able to be content with who I am and how I am contributing to the world.
I have been my worst critic for my entire life. (Remember I am a perfectionist) I was never good enough. Too heavy. Not smart enough. Not a good enough wife. Not a good enough mother. A person who never finished anything.
Now I am trying to see another side of me. I am letting myself dream. Believing in my dreams. Trying to believe in myself.
Books have always been a passion of my mine. My biggest dream has been to be a writer. I wasn’t brought up to dream, but to be a realist. Being a writer is not a guaranteed thing, or income. So, it was not something to be pursued. Now, I am making a plan to be able to pursue that dream, along with working a job that I will love to do.
That is what I think the key to success is. To love what you do. To love who you are. To make a difference in the world by helping others. To have time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
Focusing on accumulating possessions will not bring you happiness. For there will always be a newer, better, bigger version of everything. You will be stuck on the proverbial hamster wheel all your life, running after something that doesn’t exist.
Focus on what makes you feel happy and fulfilled. Find your passion. Dream. Enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Help those less fortunate then you. This is what success means to me now.