Defining success differently

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I usually have lunch with some pretty amazing women. They’re a wise bunch, and I always walk away feeling like I have a wealth of knowledge on how to better handle daily life. Today, I told one of my friends how I had been having some trouble lately because I noticed there was nothing I felt like I was really good and successful at. In school and during childhood, you have very measurable, concrete ways of knowing whether or not you are successful AND you can control that amount of success to a certain degree. You can study hard and make A’s, you can train hard to improve at sports, etc.

In adult life, success can be measured at ones job, in relationships, parenting, or hobbies, but even then it’s much more vague. Often you’re just expected to do a good job and you aren’t praised or even acknowledged for it. The only time you hear something is if you’re doing something wrong.

My friend pointed out to me that part of entering into adulthood is shifting your values. You have to change the relationship you have with success, what you are willing to do to get it, and how you measure it for yourself.

So, something I will be practicing is changing my definition of success. My old definition of success was purely based on external factors: how smart I am, my running PR’s, how many friends I have, what degree/job I had, and even the clothes I wore. My new definition of success is: How happy am I? Am I intentionally doing things I enjoy? How rich is my spiritual life? Am I an attentive parent? And most importantly, am I working at being a better ME?

Because at the core of it, isn’t the motive behind striving for success and achievement seeking a way to feel contentment and happiness?

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