Success Has a Different Meaning for Everyone
Just because you’re not there yet, doesn’t mean you’ll never get there
When I was younger, I used to have this idea of what it meant to be successful. I used to think that it was a salary, a career, a house, a car, a family. I used to frame my success based on what grown-ups told me that it meant.
Then when I grew up, I realized that success can take the form of whatever a person chooses it to be — That it’s not one all-encompassing definition.
Success is defined by one’s own standards.
Success is subjective, not objective. It is not linear. It does need to have concrete mile markers. It is not contingent on age.
Similar to my old beliefs, many people do strive for that version of success — To make a lot of money, have a good job, a big house, a fancy car, a family. And in no way is that necessarily wrong or weird. As a matter of fact, that tends to be the norm.
Go to school, go to college, graduate, get a job, meet “the one”, buy a house, get married, have kids, and there you have it. You did it. You checked off every single box.
But, not everyone wants those checkboxes. Not everyone thinks that checking off those boxes is the definition of success. Not everyone wants a “traditional” life. And again, in no way is this mindset necessarily wrong or weird either. It’s just different.
Success has a different meaning for everyone.
Just because you’re not in the same phase of life as your friend, or sibling, or colleague, or the person you follow on social media, or the person on television doesn’t mean that you’re behind in life.
Just because you’re not there yet, doesn’t mean you’ll never get there. And just because you haven’t reached a certain goal at a certain age by a certain time doesn’t mean that you’re unsuccessful. Just because one person defines success a certain way doesn’t mean that you need to follow suit.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” — Theodore Roosevelt
If we constantly compare ourselves to others, then we’ll never know what we truly want. Your life doesn’t have to be lived a certain way in order for you to be happy or successful. You don’t need to set the bar the highest that it can go in order for others to be proud of you. Even more so, you don’t need to set the bar so high in order for you to feel proud of yourself.
Success comes in many different shapes and forms.
Start recognizing the small accomplishments first.
And no, I don’t mean that you should pat yourself on the back because you didn’t curse off the person who stole your cab (though I do commend for you for that). I mean, start setting smaller, attainable goals that will ultimately lead you to your bigger goals.
Go to bed at a decent hour.
Wake up earlier.
Exercise at least once a week.
Cut back on drinking.
Eat fruits and vegetables.
These small things can be building blocks towards becoming the person that you want to be. And once you start seeing progress there, then you can start transitioning over to other areas of your life where you want to see the most progress. As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
Create your own definition of success.
As mentioned earlier, success is not an all-encompassing definition that everyone must abide by. You can create your own definition of success that is specifically built for you. Your own victories are for yourself, not for others. Be proud of the things that you’ve accomplished and are still working to accomplish. After all, life is a marathon, not a sprint. You don’t go from 0 to 100 overnight.
Life is a series of decisions that we make on a daily basis.
Be cognizant of the decisions that you are making each day. If you intend on running 10 miles tomorrow morning, then don’t go off on a bender tonight. Make purposeful, intentional choices that will lead you to where you want to be. If you drift off course, then straighten it out. All of the decisions you make eventually do add up and they will have an impact on your goals.
Strive to become the best version of YOURSELF
Figure out what makes you tick. Discover what sets your heart ablaze. Find what brings you the most joy and happiness. These things are what make you who you are. Don’t let anybody, not even yourself, change that. Strive to become the best version of yourself because that is who the world deserves to see — That is what you deserve to see.
“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” — Dr. Suess