My definition of success is different because it should be. No two individuals should share the exact same standards of personal success.

The general meaning of success, an accomplishment of a goal or purpose, can generally be agreed upon. What those accomplishments entail, though, is unique for each individual. The issue is that sometimes this can be easy to forget.

Societal standards unjustly set "equal" expectations for everybody, and that can lead to damaging consequences. Everyone forges their own path in life, yet society has constructed the idea that some are better than others. Let's start with an example that everyone has had to encounter at one point or another: education. Grades are not the most important aspect of school, yet they are often used as the sole factor in determining educational success. After high school, many push the idea that college is the next step needed to have a successful career. Society even judges students based on the colleges they attend.

It is so important to remember that everyone has their own background and future. We are not on a level playing field, either. The societal judgment constantly occurring can make it difficult to remember that your own goals and standards are important and valued. They are not lesser than those of others. On the same note, they are not greater, either.

If you accomplish your goal of getting a B+ on a test, you are not necessarily less successful than someone who received an A. If attending a community college is the right fit for you, you are not less successful than someone at an Ivy league. It is YOU who determines what success means. Comparison to others is not the answer.

The existing problems with standards for success extend far beyond the realm of education. They can dictate the way people feel expected to live their lives.

The next time you feel lesser than someone else about your accomplishments or ambitions, push those thoughts away. You can admire their success, but remember to admire yours, too.