What Is Success?
Relative - existing or having its specific nature only by relation to something else; not absolute or independent. A word whose definition I copied and pasted straight from dictionary.com, and the exact word I’d use to characterize success.
Let Me Explain
For each unique individual, this question can be answered with a unique and individual response. For some, this could mean making 7 figures a year as a tech mogul in Silicon Valley or being the starting point guard on a professional basketball team with a 6 year 228 million dollar contract...looking at you James Harden. While for others, this could mean living in a van and traveling the countryside with your four-legged friend picking up gigs along the way.
Success and the metrics used to measure it are relative, and for each person faced with this question, the response will be just as unique as the individual being asked it.
Why I Like/Dislike This Question
I think of success quite often, and I'm always restructuring and redefining how best I can answer this question in a way that is suitable to me. On the surface though, I don't think it's a healthy question in this day and age.
Although responses will differ, the majority of them seem to be geared towards having more money and nicer items. We as humans are designed to always be on the hunt for more. It's wired in our DNA and it's what has helped us survive, and thrive for so long. Thankfully, surviving out in the open scavenging for food and shelter is a distant past for the majority of people.
So why do we still think this way?
In our ever-changing and technologically advanced world, new is no longer new anymore. Whether it’s a pair of shoes or the newest smartphone, a newer model is just around the corner ready to entice you into making another purchase.
If your answer to this question is a longing for more, there’s a chance your appetite will never be quite satisfied and you could find yourself in a never-ending loop with success always another purchase away.
What Do I Think
I’m by no means an expert, and just like you, I’ve embarked on my own journey hoping to continue learning along the way. If faced with this question today, my answer would be along the lines of doing something you enjoy that makes enough money/gives you enough freedom to live a sustainable and healthy life (whatever that life might be is again, relative for each person and their situation).
I believe life is precious and should be enjoyed and maximized to the highest degree. We only get one go around, so why not make it a happy one. Plus at the end of the day, if you aren’t happy, can you consider yourself successful?
So as I sit here and think to myself, I’m stuck with one question in my head, “What is success to me?”.