Think About It Again: How Do You Define Success?

There have been a few changes in my life in the last couple of months. Some have been great, and some terrible. It has been a challenging year for us, but I can see how things might be turning around.

I’ve been reflecting as of late on what I truly want. It might seem to be my quest because I always come back to this thought, however, asking myself that question is my way of checking where my current path is taking me. My steps this year were definitely putting some distance from my goal, which is just be satisfied with my life.

In order to realize that I am satisfied, I need to have marks to check off. The marks are actually the ones that continue to change. In my teenage years, I wanted to get good grades and spend time with friends. In my twenties, I wanted to do well at work and get married. Now in my thirties, I want to set and live by my own rules. In all honesty this last goal is what I have been striving for all along, but I hadn’t uncovered the grappling influences that were leading me astray.

I can point out the influences with another question: what is the definition of success?

My ideal definition of success is to be able to live up to my potential. The definition I feel constantly pulled to, is to be among the best in my society: best family, best job, best career, best trajectory, best homemade chocolate chip cookies, best everything. All of that just isn’t possible, and best according to who? Living according to others or trying to live someone else’s life is a recipe for unhappiness. You will never be that person because you already are busy being you, and that is who you are supposed to be. Even if I do according to someone else’s definition of best, I won’t be satisfied, and then, what was the purpose of it all?

After going down that thought process, I realized that it is okay to live my own life. I have always had a sense of individuality and the older I get, the stronger it gets. This latest discovery may be one of my character’s building blocks. Being in this spot has been very freeing because it has allowed me to remove myself from a race I didn’t want to run. I was trying to check marks that I didn’t really care for. My priorities were getting out of whack and I was going to suffer throughout the race and at the outcome, because it was not what I wanted to do.

There is still a lot of work to be done in how I want to navigate life, but a new flame has been ignited, pushing me to get out there and connect with others as I want. I don’t expect a revolution, however I do hope to continue this gradual growth at a bit more aggressive pace so I can make it to my finish line.

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