What Is Your Definition Of "Success"?

What Is Your Definition Of "Success"?

Defining what living "successfully" means to you.
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What is the definition of success, and who defines what success is? This is a question I have struggled with for a long time and the answer has always been unclear. According to Merriam-Webster, success is:

  • obsolete : outcome, result
  • a : degree or measure of succeeding b : favorable or desired outcome; also : the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence

3 : one that succeeds

Everyone says that they want to “succeed” but what does it really mean to succeed? I often define success by things that are completely out of my control and I have begun to ask myself why that is. Success has nothing to do with our family and friends or our social status. We spend so much time trying to succeed for OTHERS, instead of for OURSELVES. Whether it be a parent, or a rival, or a good friend, it seems that we are constantly competing to outdo each other, or prove to others that we can be, will be, or already are “successful.” My success should be for me, not for anyone else.

The past week I went to go visit my home school that I attended my freshman year of high school (I transferred out my sophomore year). I woke up super early that morning to shower and do my hair and makeup so that I would look nice just to go eat lunch with my brothers. But deep down I know that I was not dressing up for the right reasons. I wasn’t trying to look nice for me, but look nice for them. I felt the need to prove myself to people freshman year, and I still feel that need to this day. I have worked on myself a lot since freshman year, and I am not nearly as insecure as I once was, but it does not take away from the fact that I STILL subconsciously felt the need to impress these people who I did not even know. I got into my own head so much that I realized I no longer knew what success means to me.

For me, success comes from family and happiness and dedication. It is not about making it big on Broadway, owning a nice house, or having lots of fame and power. Ultimately, I just want to be happy with myself and with what I have done with my life. I will never look back on my life and think “I really wish I would have made more money and been more famous…” I will look back on my life and wish that I had spent less time worrying about what others thought of me and more time focusing on what I can do to better myself. People always ask me what I want to do with my life and I feel the sudden need to impress them with grand plans of New York and star-studded glory, but I know that isn’t what I really want for myself. I have had to accept the fact that it is okay to tell people “I don’t know.” I don’t know what I am going to do with my life yet. All I know is that it is time for me to stop trying to impress others and work hard to accomplish MY goals.

Success for me may not be what you consider success to be. Success is defined by YOU. I think we all struggle to some extent with separating what we want from what other people want for us. I have seen too many situations where kids my age felt pressured into doing something that someone else wanted for them to do. Maybe your mom has always wanted for you to be a doctor and your dad wants you to have a big family. Your success is not defined by anyone else’s wishes for you. What do you want? We have to learn how to achieve our own dreams, instead of living out someone else’s. That is the definition of success in my book. What is success to you?


"You don't have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream." ~ Michael Dell
Cover Image Credit: media.licdn.com

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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