The dictionary definition of success is: the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. You and I both know that this is a loaded word. Is success making a million bucks or is it a huge house? Is success accolades and fame? Are you successful? I have been struck lately by perspective and specifically how it relates to success.
For me, and for The Curious Life Project, success is a life of freedom. Time is money but not in the traditional sense. I don’t aim for money but just enough to allow freedom. To find out how you define success, think about people you deem as successful now. Who pops into your head? Steve Jobs or Gandhi? Tom Brady or the small business surf shop owner you met in Costa Rica? It is an important question to think about because if you currently feel unsuccessful (as I certainly have) you need to know why and make changes to pursue the right goals. Each of us has a different definition of success. I simply do not believe people who say they can have it all because with every choice, especially in the work that you choose, there are trade offs. Want to be a travel journalist and make it to all of your kid’s soccer games? Not gonna happen. Want to run a fortune 500 company and work 40 hours or less a week? Good luck.
My Definition of Success:
1.) The goal is to spend my days in a setting I desire and work from home (or Spain or wherever that is not in an office filled with cubes).
2.) Spend my days surrounded by the people I want to spend time with.
3.) I need only a certain amount of money to feel good and well off which is all about perspective. For example I am aiming to earn around $60,000 a year with my entrepreneurial ventures. Some might think this is a terrible income. Some might think this is astronomical.
4.) I want to be able to set my own schedule.
5.) Cultivate a sense of purpose with my time. This includes having the time to volunteer and help others or causes that I care about.
6.) Enjoyment from the work I do.
7.) Above all else relationships and lifestyle will always trump work for me. This means I will most likely never become a CEO.
Many times creative people with many interests but whom are not incredibly skilled in 1 thing are considered wandering lost and UNsuccessful souls. Many times we feel this way too because of traditional definitions of success. Wouldn’t you rather your life be a delightful mix of all of the things that you love, rather than 1 safe thing that you don’t love? If you are an artist and spend an incredible month creating a painting that no one buys and no one admires, outside of your small network, is it a failure or a success?
I recognize that money is a fact and we need a certain amount to live in the world but defining success by this only can be harmful.
Define your own success and set out to achieve it!