I’ve been thinking a lot recently about success. What makes someone successful and how do we measure it?
For many people success comes in the form of money or some sort of accolade or adoration, for others success is simply just managing to make it through the day.
I do wonder sometimes why other’s people’s perception or understanding of success makes others feel like theirs are not successes at all.
I have to say that I’ve never felt like a success at anything. I’ve put myself forward for things where I could potentially be successful and never been accepted or acknowledged. I do a job - where despite my knowledge and being in a position which should be considered an integral part of the team - because I do not earn commission, and am on a low salary, I am not considered successful. And quite frankly, I don’t feel like I’m successful either. This isn’t helped by the fact that most, if not all, of my friends already own their own homes and earn in excess of £50k per year and this often makes me feel like an outsider. Because I am not on the same level as these people my life ‘successes’ are not comparable. I can’t say “hey look I’ve just paid off a chunk of my mortgage” because I can’t even afford to save for a deposit, I can’t say “wow, I just secured a huge deal and got loads of commission!” because my role doesn’t afford me that. I can’t say “I’m the director of a company” because I’m not.
Part of the issue is probably my own view on success and I suppose I always thought when I grew up I would be successful because I would be married and own my own house and either be a writer or be doing a job where I earned lots of money and could take holidays whenever I wanted. None of those things have come to pass. My age doesn’t really bother me, but as I approach my 35th birthday I suppose I am thinking more about my future. I am lucky that I have a roof over my head, an amazing boyfriend and the cutest little doggie known to mankind, and this should be enough. But is it wrong of me to want more and to feel that I have achieved something more in life?
I’ve tried so many things in life and never once succeeded in any of them – I write novels that nobody wants to publish (so I don’t finish them), I tried to be a pin up model but nobody wanted to hire me (so I gave up), I started a YouTube cookery channel which nobody watched (so I stopped doing it), the list goes on.
Success and worth shouldn’t be measured with anything tangible like money, but with our own sense of achievement. My boyfriend said to me last night (I’m paraphrasing here by the way) “if you can go to bed happy with how you’ve been as a person then you’ve succeeded” and he is right. Some days I have to accept that my success and achievement is merely getting through the day and other days it could be that I’ve got 100 views on the blog. We only get a short amount of time to live and we shouldn’t spend it comparing our ‘successes’ to others; we should embrace what we feel we have achieved and ignore those who tell us they’re not real successes because they don’t match to their view of accomplishment.
Having said that, I would still like to publish a novel or start a business. And, even if I do those things I’ll probably still feel that I’m less worthwhile than the rest, but at least I can go to bed knowing that I’m a good person and that I’ve tried my hardest even if other people don’t appreciate me or think I’m a success.