We’ve all come to believe there is only one level of success. The biggest level. This means, basically, that we’re rich. We live in a grand home, maybe with a partner and a couple children, and we own an expensive car. Our friends must also be rich. We have a great career, either really high up the ladder, or—if we work hard enough—the CEO of a company.
Success only comes in one form. At least, that’s what they—“they” being society—want you to think. Success, however, actually comes in an abundance of forms. A shitload, to be more specific.
This is what success can look like:
A stay-at-home mom who loves to watch her children grow every day
An artist who paints at night because she works two waitressing jobs to support her dreams
A twenty-year-old who lives in a studio and writes songs when she’s not in school
A thirty-five-year-old who lives in a good enough apartment, and lives a simple and practical life
Success is whatever you define it to be.
You can decide that you are successful now. You can choose to proclaim to the world that your process, your risks, your hard work—they are your success.
If you’re happy with your life, you are successful. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t reached any of your goals yet, or if you don’t have a million dollars in the bank, or if you live with your parents still. If you want, you can choose to view your life as a successful one now.
And here’s why that’s important:
Most of our lives are simple. Most of our lives are made of “in between” moments. It’s mainly work and process and journey. It is not goals reached, goals reached, goals reached. And yet, we live only for the time we finally get what we’ve been working for. It’s only then that we finally allow ourselves to feel successful. So how do we feel in the months and years in between?
The truth is our happiness is tied with success. When we wait to be and feel successful, we wait to be happy too. When you strive constantly for something bigger and better rather than acknowledging your greatness right now, you’re putting your happiness on hold.
Success is not fancy clothes and expensive watches. Success is pure and utter joy. It’s waking up every day and looking forward to what’s coming. It’s being surrounded by people who love and support you. Success is loving the process, the hustle. It’s being grateful for what you already have.
You should always strive to be better. You can still set huge goals, and work really hard toward them, I’m not saying you shouldn’t. I’m saying that always take a moment to realize that you’re already successful, and that if you, for some reason, don’t happen to reach some of your goals, you were successful anyway because you loved every part of your path. That is true success.
If, for some reason, you don’t feel successful despite having a home, great friends and family, food on the table every night, then work on finding what makes you happy. It is then that you’ll find success.
“Make a list of things that make you happy. Make a list of things you do every day. Compare the lists. Adjust accordingly.”
Stop living for “the day when…” and start acknowledging the present, your current success.